A Free Comedy Talk Show With the Motto - Nothing's Wrong If It's Funny

1152: The Prison Of Blackness


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Rod and Karen discuss David Allan Grier, Killer Mike lying for Bernie, Leslie Jones in the new Ghost Busters, a brother totally misrepresents the MHP / MSNBC controversy, woman kills her husband in a 3 way, man acquitted of small penis murder and sword ratchetness.

And they’re on Twitter: @ShadowDogProd

Code: TBGWTFree



  1. EvieE

    After watching the trailer I wasn’t crazy about Leslie Jones role in the Ghostbusters and honestly it wasn’t because she’s not cast as a scientist. I had no problem with that. What bothered me was that she seemed like one big walking stereotype. But when you mentioned people having a problem with how she is was just another form of respectability politics it really gave me pause. I have family members and friends like her and I’m not ashamed of her. It made me wonder if I cared too much about the white gaze. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing something until someone else points it out. This episode is one of the reasons I enjoy TBGWT podcast so much. You guys don’t just make me laugh but you also make me think.

  2. Amani

    I can’t lie I definitely felt some kind of way seeing the Ghostbusters trailer and realizing the only Black person wasn’t a scientist again. But that comes down more to the fact that she was the ONLY one and to a lesser extent not trusting the director with Black people. I haven’t been impressed by how they’ve handled diversity, and they’re one step removed from the Tina Fey crew and her constant disappointment on race.

    It bothered me in the first two movies where Winston never really felt like he was part of the team, and her praising how smart her white co-stars rubbed me the wrong way. But, I also realize it’s just a trailer and I’m not putting too much stock into that when I don’t know how or why any of those lines or roles play in context. And to be honest I could have gotten over alot of that if it were funnier.

    With that said I never had a problem with Leslie Jones herself and seeing the attacks she got made me an even more vocal supporter. The director said he originally wrote the role for Melissa McCarthy, but then changed his mind when he realized Leslie would be perfect for it. That’s the kind of casting we’ve been asking for in Hollywood. I’ll admit to being wary about it in a way I wouldn’t be if the writers or director were Black, or there was more diversity on the team, but I won’t know for better or worse until the movie is out not based on a trailer.

    So much of the criticisms were just about Leslie herself though. It’s one thing if you don’t find her funny, not all comedy works for all people and that’s fine. But when you start to say she’s setting us back by playing a character that’s true to herself you’re saying there’s not a place for that kind of blackness and that’s fucked up. That’s why Formation was so powerful, it wasn’t just that it celebrated being a Black woman, but Southern Black too because too often that’s still put down. That’s the same internalized hatred when people attack Karen for her accent. When Bernie Sanders says he’ll do better with Northern Blacks we all unite over how fucked up it is, but too many of us still maintain that feeling of the right way to be Black in public or in the white gaze and it’s sad to see.

    Anyway great show as always and I appreciate your perspectives.

  3. Lenore312

    Hey Rod, Hey Karen,
    I must say that you and Karen changed my mind on Leslie Jones back during the slave joke issue. I am dealing with my areas of respectabiility every day. A lot of it if being under the white gaze. Everyone upset about her role needs to think about what the end goal is: more roles for black people. Much like the white ability to make mediocre movies, I want so many roles for balck people (and other people of color) that a “stereotypical” role does. not. matter. And also she is NOT being stereotypical, it appears to be her personality every damn day of her life. That’s her. She exists and other women like her exist. If that is not your brand of comedy? Don’t watch. Don’t call for her to leave a paying job so you can feel better about black representation, because if she does not take the role? ….and they put a white woman in the role…we ain’t represented. Can’t have it both ways. Support the roles you like that’s fine but don’t take money out of someone elses pocket because of how you want to be viewed by white people. I don’t watch tyler Perry unless it’s bad movie night. I stopped talking abdly about people who like them because those people are my family. I don’t bash it publicly from a “this makes black people look bad” area because that says that people who are really like those TP characters are bad in real life.
    My uncle always says “everything is good to someone. You can’t hold your opinion of what is good or bad as the guideline.”
    I’m sad about MHP and I think this kinda ties to Leslie too. MHP fucked up one good time with RD and some prominent and not so prominent black supporters turned their back on her. She broke the ever changing Black rules. Then white people in charge saw their chance to facilitate her downfall. So now we have one less space of black representation (you know that good ed-juh-muh-kay-ted non-sassy type respectable black yall beg for?). I wasn’t always able to watch but i would rewteet when we were collectively watching as a family. Word of mouth brought me to Nerdland and the silence caused me to let it fall by the wayside. Now it’s gone and i know it won’t come back on such a major channel for a long time. It is a loss for us all. Shout out to her for the tweets of flame and leaving with her head held high and the skeletons laying outside the closet in a crumpled heap. She’s gon’ be alright and i hope she gets back to TV someday.
    *Sidenote Chris R denouced his Niggas versus Black people bit because white peole were laughing a bit too much for his liking. He realized it was playing to their racists thoughts of black people. Unfortunately it’s still out there and he has to take the hit for that. love yall as always keep up the good work, Lenore312

  4. bamil73

    Hello Brother Rod and Sister Karen

    Before I begin may I ask, do you own your masters? Do you generate the electricity, that powers the servers, that feeds the routers, that feed the switches that let internet flow through the fibre optic cables that run to your abode? I didn’t think so, so according to the writer of that stupid shit, you don’t own your masters. There may be a parallel between the music industry and the type of work that MHP did for MSNBC, but not in the way he described. For his parallel to be accurate, the musicians he references would have to own the studios as well as all the instruments etc that facilitated their recording. The only parallel here is the intellectual property. MSNBC paid MHP for her to bring her vision and point of view provided her with the technical staff and equipment to facilitate this. If she goes elsewhere, she would take that same vision and point of view as well. I hate when people get all wordy and scholarly about shit they don’t know about.

    Question: What is the significance of the following phrase?

    “Too hot to handle to cold to hold, we’re the Ghostbusters and we’re in control”

    Answer: It is the only fucking thing I remember about the first two Ghostbusters movies. I loved that song.

    Anyway I loved your discussion on Leslie Jones’s role in the upcoming reboot or sequel of that franchise. I get that people are upset or disappointed that the lone black woman isn’t a scientist like the other three counterparts, but as you point out, even if she were a scientist people would still be upset with her role. It is that respectability all over again. People are uncomfortable with some types of blackness. This is one of the things I have always envied about whiteness. The freedom to enjoy a multiplicity of artistic expression without fear of “setting your people back”. Additionally it is without question that black women get it worse than men. There is this expectation in some circles that if some expressions of blackness do not pass an acceptable high water mark of respectable representation, then it is not worthy black expression. This used to be the case for Hip Hop until mainstream white publications like the NY Times started hiring writers that actually liked the music. (Let me be clear; they hired younger white men that like Hip Hop versus older white men that didn’t). Now respectable publications are discussing what Kanye means when he raps about getting bleach on his T-shirt. I for one find Leslie funny as hell and if I do see this movie, it will be because she is in it.

  5. lrjoiner

    This episode was really just a giant fucking with black women segment that was really necessary to hear. As you eloquently put it Rod, it really is a sickness that we have as black people that we see a black woman who has paid her dues on the comedy circuit for 20+ years, who does not fit societal standards of beauty, get the career break of a lifetime and the first thing we’re doing is worrying about whether or not she’s cooning or selling out before we’ve ever seen the damn movie!

    Just the other day I was talking to my friend and she started to say something about Tyler Perry and she stopped and said, “oh you probably don’t want to hear this.” I said, “no, please say it.” She said, “I think he should be a motivational speaker, but I know you hate him so I didn’t say it. So then I responded telling her that I don’t hate him. I admire that dude. He went from sleeping in his car to creating a movie studio. His story and testimony does make him exceptionally qualified to be a motivational speaker. I don’t like his movies but I’ll never knock him for all he has done for a group of people whom nobody would cater to. Which essentially is the same point you guys made on the show.

    We can’t throw away our own just because we’re scared of what white people might think of them. Even if it’s someone we don’t necessarily like or patronize. Because one day the black woman comedian who isn’t stereotypically pretty that you (people who are shitting on Leslie) like is gonna get her shine and it’s gonna be because of people like Leslie doing well when they get their shot.

    As far as the brotha who wrote the article about MHP not owning her masters, he sounds like a hotep brotha who always has to move the goalposts for black women. His article was poorly researched and imposed standards on MHP that he didn’t even impose on himself. Then he tried to patronize black women w/that black girl magic shit. No my brother, black girl magic is being the preeminent scholar in your field and having the integrity to be true to yourself and your craft such that you would walk away from a check, and not sign a non-disclosure agreement because you know you’re going to be alright and land on your feet. So fuck that dude.

    Sorry for the long comment guys I know I spazzed but the show was that good!

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