ABC has renewed “Black-ish” for a sixth season while also requesting a prequel series titled “Mixed-ish”. Focusing on the childhood of Tracee Ellis Ross’s biracial character, Rainbow Johnson, the proposed series is already fetching criticism.
Following suit with the other series produced and inspired by Kenya Barris, “Mixed-ish” carries a similarly stylized title. Unfortunately, it’s unimaginative and inadvertently highlights an existing problem with the shows, pending and current. With two series that already feature monochromatic casts, we are left to wonder who exactly the target audience is for ‘Mixed-ish. Tackling biracial adversity in the 80’s, the synopsis states the series plans to “illuminate the challenges of finding one’s own identity when the rest of the world can’t decide where you belong.”
For those of us with good memories or non-white skin, we don’t need a series to explain to us the difficulties of growing up othered. The challenges that biracial people faced in the 1980’s weren’t like those children of the 40s or 50s faced. By no means am I discounting the difficulties they encountered. I’m simply stating the concept of “passing”, whether tactical or otherwise, was more prominent for children and adolescents from post-emancipation through Jim Crow and World War II. For me, the stories of “Mischilingskinder”, also known as ‘Brown Babies’, comes to mind.
For context: Brown Babies was the term for children of Black soldiers and White European women during and after World War II. Roughly 7,000 in number, some of these children became wards of the German state, as their mother’s were without the resources to care for them properly. Yet, some maintained custody of their children, sparing them the experiences of orphanages and foster parents in a land where racial discrimination against Blacks existed. Eventually featured in Jet Magazine, the stories of these children are incredibly important and essential to the fabric of our history. However, in my opinion, we are not in need of another series that will attempt to capitalize on the “tragic mulatto” trope, especially not one set during a time when “light skin was in.”
A larger reason I believe there’s no interest in ‘Mixed-ish’ centers around the obvious acceptance of light skin during the 80’s. By this time, popular culture reflected the approval of light skin and awarded those with a proximity to whiteness. The success of Prince, Al B Sure, DeBarge and other fair skinned artists parallelled the acceptance of light skin and biracial traits in common society. In fact, you could be adventurous enough to say the 80s is when the fetishization of fair-skin mixed children became more noticeable. In casual conversation the mention of desiring “good hair”, instruction to stay out of the sun, and lust for light eyes was uncomfortably normal. While those would certainly find their way into ‘Mixed-ish’ in a way that could potentially spotlight colorism, I have concerns that their definition of mixed is limited.
The expressed lack of interest in the series, which social media has made clear, is because the viewing audience has a broader scope of what biracial looks like. Unlike other generations of entertainment consumers, millenials and beyond have an understanding that mixed is not just Black and white and does not simply equal beige. We have been invested in pushing for representation for all races, genders, and sexualities in mass media. For that reason, the creation of a show that seems to only be attacking these concerns from the point of a fair-skinned Black/white child is myopic and likely based in respectability politics. I’m sure the show will still fetch viewers, but if execution is as poor as expected, heed this request: Please stay away from ‘Gay-ish’.
Rolling Ray Undergoes Surgery After Wig Catches On Fire
Social media star Rolling Ray underwent surgery Tuesday morning to treat serious burns on his body after his terrible wig accident last week.
In a series of IG stories, he let his audience follow along as he prepped for surgery.
Last week Rolling Ray announced he was hospitalized after his wig caught on fire! During a January 13 Instagram Live session hosted straight from his hospital bedside, he showed his severely burnt and damaged face telling viewers his “whole skin, legs, arms, feet, and everything” were burned.
In a more recent Live, Ray explained the incident that led to his whole wig catching on fire: an unfortunate smoking accident. “It just, like, lit on fire when I tried to light the cigarette,” he recounted. “So I get to trying to snatch the wig off. B***h, the fire goes to my f*****g shirt, to my feet, to my legs, to my back. It’s a fire everywhere, it’s a fire in the whole room.”
Of course the internet trolled him in a disgusting display of ableism and heartlessness. Comments like “Rolling Ray should have stopped, dropped, and rolled” and “karma’s a b***h” had social media conflicted in its feelings about his accident. His sensation comes from his harsh and, often, below-the-belt reads (just last month he told Yung Miami to “dig (sic) up” her dead baby father. However, the criticism didn’t stop him from responding on Twitter.
Rolling Ray might be problematic as all get-out, but we do not tolerate ableism here. We wish him well as he heals.
Fantasia Reveals Gender of Baby On the Way!
On Tuesday singer-songwriter and “American Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino took to social media to reveal that she is having a baby girl, her first child with husband Kendall Taylor.
In a series of Instagram stories, Fantasia showed pink fireworks being shot off during a gender reveal party, to her and her hubby’s excitement! She continued by sharing what her daughter-to-be’s name will be: Keziah London Taylor.
The news comes after the couple revealed they had struggled to conceive since their 2015 marriage. During a November episode of her IG Live show “Taylor Talks,” she described continuously praying for a child with her husband. Fantasia, a deeply devout Christian, was obviously elated when she shared the news.
“God I Want To Thank You!” she said in an Instagram caption. “You Gave Us A Seed even when the Doctor said that one of my Tubes [was] Closed you said Different. @salute1st I Love You King and I can’t wait to see who He or She acts Like.”
We can see Fantasia and family are all super excited to be welcoming a baby girl into their lives. All congratulations to her.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are Getting Divorced, Report Says
In a story published Tuesday evening, Page Six is reporting that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are getting divorced, with the two already in settlement talks. The news comes after the couple spent the holiday season separately – Kanye at his ranch outside Cody, Wyoming, Kim and the kids with her famous family in southern California.
A source close to Kardashian was quoted saying, “Kim got Kanye to go up there so they could live separate lives and quietly get things sorted out to separate and divorce. She’s done.” Kardashian, 40, and West, 43, are said to be splitting because of marital problems directly related to Kanye’s very public mental health struggles.
For several years the rapper’s various antics have caused fans to worry. After coming out as a Trump supporter, West then announced his own 2020 presidential bid under a new political party: the Birthday Party. At a campaign rally in South Carolina, he was seen rambling, debating individual audience members, and at times, crying. In various interviews, he has rambled on almost incoherently, and his tweetstorms are now infamous.
For her part, Kim has always supported her husband and has openly discussed the difficulties of their marriage. Back in June, she shared on social media, “Anyone who has [bipolar disorder] or has a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand… People who are unaware or far removed from this experience can be judgmental and not understand that the individual (has) to engage in the process of getting help no matter how hard family and friends try.”
It appears she has finally reached her limit in the union with the unnamed source saying, “She is serious about taking the bar exam and becoming a lawyer, she is serious about her prison reform campaign. Meanwhile Kanye is talking about running for president and saying other crazy s**t, and she’s just had enough of it.”
Separately, a source close to Kanye alleges the rapper is sick of his wife and her family, which might have some truth to it since he has tweeted some pretty nasty things about them in the past. “I been trying to get divorced since Kim met with Meek at the Warldolf [sic] for ‘prison reform,’” he said in a now-deleted July tweet. Recently, he hasn’t been featured on his wife’s Instagram and has largely remained out of the public eye.
With the news yet to be confirmed, the “divorce is imminent” reports are just rumors for now. We’ll be following the news as more information comes out.