By Arturo R. García
Friday brought some surprising news, as Comedy Central announced that Daily Show longtime “Senior Black Correspondent” Larry Wilmore had been picked to take over the valuable post-Daily slot starting next year from Stephen Colbert, with the show being retitled The Minority Report With Larry Wilmore.
Besides hosting the show, Wilmore will also serve as executive producer, with the Report maintaining its production link to its predecessor through Jon Stewart’s Busboy Productions.
The network’s release did not shy away from the significance of Wilmore getting this spot, either:
“The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore” will provide viewers with a distinct point of view and comedic take on the day’s news from a perspective largely missing in the current late night landscape. Hosted by Larry Wilmore, the series will feature a diverse panel of voices currently underrepresented in comedy and television.
But, the concern’s already rung out on Twitter: Does the title already point toward self-limitation on Wilmore’s part? What do you think of Wilmore’s hiring and the show’s prospects?
By Thea Lim, cross-posted from Bitch Magazine
While I was writing our weekly True Blood roundtable with my Racialicious peeps on Tuesday, Tami Winfrey Harris said:
Watching King Russell go rogue on national TV made me think of the dread many POC feel when the media spotlights a member of our race doing something bad, dysfunctional or stereotypical–that sense that the bad behavior of another will stick to you in a society that lumps every brown person together. I just pictured vamps across the States watching Russell and shaking their heads. Aw, shit! This motherfucker…My neighbor is going to be giving me all kinds of side-eye tomorrow!
Don’t worry if you don’t get the King-Russell-going-rogue reference: what I wanted to share with you was Tami’s observation that people of color often feel anxious, sad, angry or personally hurt when a member of their race does something stereotypical in public.
I rarely feel this way, despite the fact that I proudly identify as a woman of color. The reasons for this are various—the shorthand version is that, in the genetic lottery that was my parents’ interracial English-Irish-Chinese-Singaporean union, I came out looking pretty ambiguous. Unlike my sibling who looks pretty mixed but also clearly Chinese, I have Inverted Chameleon Face: wherever I am, I look like I’m from somewhere else. People can tell I’m mixed, but they’re not totally sure what I am. (So yes, this means that many a time people have asked me what are you?… the worst time was when dudes at a bar where I worked placed bets on “what I was” and then called me over to settle the debate.) Thusly, growing up in Singapore, folks always thought I was white. Now that I live in North America, I am never really sure if people read me as Asian, white, or Other.
So, I don’t know whether or not others associate me with any public bad behavior carried out by my people. And usually, because I identify as a mixed race woman of color, I feel equally steamed about racist or sexist or racist sexist behavior directed against any group—and this is why I write for Racialicious, pan-ethnic space for people of color extraordinaire—whether it’s the Oscar Grant verdict or the politics of transracial adoption. But I rarely feel personally hurt.
And then I came across Olivia Munn.
So I decided to write Olivia a letter.