Fox “Glee(fully)” addresses Mixed Race

Fox is an easy target. It’s fairly obvious the cable channel has a significant anti-Obama bias. But I heard the entertainment division is giving Wanda Sykes a late night talk show, making her the “first black lesbian late night host,” even if it is on Saturday night only against SNL. I’ll admit I was one of those who laughed when Bill Cosby dissed her at the 2003 Emmy Awards [another perspective from Michael Eric Dyson], but I’ve since come to like her for her activism and her television appearances. Maybe it’s another tactic for the entertainment division using blacks to get an edge. (Remember Martin, Living Single, and New York Undercover on Fox vs. Must See TV on NBC or all those other 90s shows, The Sinbad Show, South Central, Moesha, In Living Color, and Roc? Honestly, I can never say any of those shows were ever must see for me. But it was a remarkable era for black TV.) And, in full disclosure, my cousin from the black side of the family does work for Fox and I’ve always felt her to be progressive, politically and culturally.

Though I missed the black era of Fox-TV some of my guilty pleasures have been those David E. Kelley on Fox shows like Ally McBeal, and Boston Public.

Now, I bashfully cop to a new show on Fox in a similar quirky mold, Glee. (I’m a sucker for quirky comedy, kids overcoming the odds through music, plus huge vocal harmonies and a little camp.) Mr. Kelley has nothing to do with this one, though. If you’re a fan of any of his work, you’ve definitely seen a lot of quite progressive diversity represented. This new show, though it shares some of the absurdist bent, seems to have a strange thing for mixed race people. One of the characters is I’m guessing, Japanese and Caucasian – last name Tanaka. But now two episodes in a row they’ve alluded to either the instability of parents of mixed race kids or the genetic viability of mixed race kids altogether. I know it’s a comedy and it’s had some bad word of mouth for it’s mean-spiritedness, though it also had a very sweet coming out story of a gay teen.

So, maybe I’m just being sensitive again, but I’m just wondering is this a common sort of perspective in certain parts of the country? Check out these two 30 second clips. The piling on two episodes in a row is a bit much for me. What do you think? And, for fun, do you think it’s an anti-Obama directive from on high? (For fun, OK? I’m not a conspiracy theorist. Really….)

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