TYRA PUTS MODELS IN "BLACKFACE" AND EVERYONE GETS ALL UP IN A TIZZY
In the NY Daily News column which claims "The media cries fowl", they mean, a columnist at Huffington Post who didn't appreciate Tyra's fashion shoot. Now, granted, the Tyra show is full of moronic producers and it is an incredibly unorganized set up, and I would know, because I've seen it first hand, but seriously -- is it really that huge of a deal? It is to whoever came up with this hair-brained scheme, because he or she is surely about to get fired over this.
But let's get into it, for a minute. Back in the 30s and 40s and the Al Jolson times, there was a lot of racism and whitey hatred on blackie, and that was not cool. There's still whitey hatred on blackie, and blackie hatred on whitey, and mexicy hating on jewie and vice versa, and even hate combo platters that haven't even been thought of yet. Hatred is a part of the world. I wish it would go away, but Tyra's fashion show isn't making more hatred, and it's certainly not curing hatred. It's kind of more like dummies making art. So do we have to insist there's hate-filled motives there when there's clearly not? Models are too stupid to hate.
Was Tyra, her models, or her show's stupid producers really being racist? Most people would agree they were not.
Chappelle did "white face" on Chappelle's Show, and he was making straight fun of white people, and most white people would probably agree, it was hilarious. Derrick Beckles did "blacker" face (being a very light skinned black man) for Super Deluxe's "This Is Now" news cast and it was so funny, people on the set practically couldn't look at him, because he looked so hilarious, and not in a 'ha ha, anti-black jokes' kind of way, but in more of a 'you look ridiculous' kind of way.
I performed at London's Soho Theatre last year as "Whitney Houston in black face" and got a very mixed review for it. The fact is, I can't pretend to be black with white skin. If I'd come out as I am with a black wig on, I'd have looked like a white girl singing Whitney Houston. I LOVE Whitney Houston. However, all the journalists out there are putting her down every chance they get, and negatively depicting her and seriously, truly hating on Whitney, with their skin staying exactly in tact. I, however, did an homage performance to Whitney and all the blimeys got all limey.
I may perform Whitney in black face again, somewhere, someday. And I can promise you, it's got nothing to do with the 30s, hating black people or encouraging hate of any kind. It's a fun little piece I do, it's a bit comedic and a whole lot appreciatory towards a musician who I adore and admire and who I grew up with, and that's about all there is to it.
And as for anyone else who chooses to do a performance of some kind in black face, or any other color face (Blue Man Group?), well, as a society, we'll surely judge each piece on an act by act basis.