“Black. White.” Not So Black and White?

According the Sunday Saturday Times, the FX “documentary” Black. White. that eecue touched on earlier might not be presenting such an honest view race relations after all. The show, featuring a black couple from Atlanta and a white couple from Santa Monica living together in Tarzana for six weeks while “trading places,” was filmed locally and residents of a diverse range of communities including Leimert Park and La Crescenta feel slighted by what they see as unfair editing. The real question seems to turn on whether Black. White. is a “documentary” or a “reality” show:

But Cutler and Ice Cube, another of the show’s executive producers, have distanced themselves from FX’s documentary tag. Cube said the series is more a “reality experiment,” while Cutler said, “I’m not a social scientist. I’m telling a story. We never said we were telling a comprehensive story.”

Not to steal their thunder, but the Times opening couldn’t have said it better:

The title song of FX Networks’ new “Black.White.” is both come-on and warning — “Please don’t believe the hype. Everything in the world ain’t black and white.” It also may turn out to be an unintentionally ironic commentary on the project itself.

2 Replies to ““Black. White.” Not So Black and White?”

  1. I’ve seen some pics of the families and I don’t see how they can pass–they look dreadful! The white to black seem more successful than vice versa. As for things not being truly factual, I mean come on, it is a reality show, with emphasis on “show.”

  2. Shows like this bother me because they focus on our differences. Don’t get me wrong I don’t believe that we live in a color blind society. However, if we keep this categorical game up it will somehow keep up this Black and white divide (if it exists all*). Further any intelligent person knows that the notion of a “white” person is over simplistic. Everyone has a link to a specific culture and background, e.g. Jews, Irish, Greek, etc. I am not surprised… whatever makes money will get on to TV. If we want to know more about Black people or “white” people… talk to them directly and arrive at your own conclusions. Whatever you do, don’t believe what you see on TV!

    * I personally believe that the “divide” is imaginary in the sense that if you believe there is some difference then it exists for you. I am Black and don’t believe that there is a significant difference to be explored between Blacks and Whites. Further it’s not anything out of the ordinary for people from different backgrounds to behave differently.

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