My new obsession: The Wendy Williams Show

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

For the past week or so, I’ve spent every night watching Tivo’d episodes of The Wendy Williams Show. It’s been my new secret obsession and (yay!) I just found out that the show has officially been picked up by Fox. (Hat tip to Stereohyped.)

I’ve been trying to figure out what it is about the show that I like so much, and last night it finally dawned on me that there are two factors that are particularly appealing.

First, it’s the first TV talk show I’ve ever seen that captures the authentic essence of social media. Wendy makes no pretense that she’s a TV pro. When she’s not picking synthetic wig hairs off her outfit, she’s barely holding back her belches. When she’s not asking the producer how much time there’s left in the segment, she’s messing up the pronunciation of people’s names. And just like here at Racialicious, comments from her viewers are an integral and seamless part of the show’s content.

Second, it’s so refreshing how her show completely normalizes queerness among people of color. So many of her audience members, mostly black and Latino, are casually open about their sexuality. Plus when she had Margaret Cho on the show, they actually touched on trans issues.

At a time when other prominent TV personalities *coughTyracough* only include gay people in the most stereotypical or exploitative situations (drag queen pageants! down low homothugs! Mr. and Mrs. Jay!), and mainstream media pretends that all African-Americans are vehemently homophobic, there’s something quietly subversive about demonstrating that gay people of color are just a fact of life, and no big deal.

Have any of you been following the show? What do you think?

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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