Blackish is one of the best comedies on television. It’s the fifth-highest rated comedy on television right now, and deservedly so. The consistent humor, intelligent social commentary, and top notch performances from the entire cast is a rare combination on television and going into its third season it looks as if Blackish is prepared to continue being one of the smartest shows around.
One thing that will probably change moving forward is the reactions from the creator and cast when they are asked about the show’s audience breakdown or anything else related to its diverse representation. At the show’s TCA panel on Thursday – attended by creator Kenya Barris, producer Jonathan Groff, and most of the cast – a reporter asked what percentage of the show’s audience is black. According to Variety, Barris responded by pointing out that those kinds of questions should not be what people focus on when discussing the show.
“I will be so happy when diversity is not a word.
It doesn’t matter who’s watching our show. The fact is that they’re watching it. And I feel like every question at every panel … I get so tired of talking about diversity. These are amazing, talented actors and amazing writers who give their all and they don’t have to do this. It’s crowding the conversation.”
“We always have to box everything in. Isn’t it just a good family show? It’s specifically about a black family. We’re not denying that. But don’t you see yourself in it? Don’t you see your family in it? … Why is that important, who watched the show? Why does it matter? Why do we keep having to have these conversations?”
The sentiment is well put by Barris, and was followed up shortly after by Blackish star Tracee Ellis Ross who confronted the reporter directly in order to offer some perspective to their question.
“Is that a question that you’ve asked other shows that are not predominately of a certain color?”
“Not necessarily,” the reporter said.
“Those questions continue the conversation in a direction that does not help the conversation,” Ross added.
Blackish is nominated for multiple Emmy Awards, and it is safe to say that any reporter on the ceremony’s red carpet should think twice before trying to make the show’s popularity completely about its cast or audience diversity.