Anthony Anderson Discusses 'Black-ish' Episode on Police Brutality
"We pride ourselves on dealing with divisive topics on ['Black-ish'] that bring people to a table who have differences of opinions and create that dialogue. Hopefully when we leave this table, we have a better understanding of who sat across from us."
Anthony Anderson, star of ABC's Black-ish, opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about the episode focused on police brutality against African Americans. Anderson told THR during the Comedy Actor Emmy Roundtable that Black-ish creator Kenya Barris wrote the episode based on his two young sons (ages 5 and 7), who each asked him why everyone was so angry in Ferguson. "[Barris] was forced into that conversation. How do you have that conversation with your child? And that’s what forced him to write this episode," said Anderson.
Anderson noted that the experience of explaining difficult subjects to children was personified, as they also had to have these conversations with the actors who play his children on the show. "Looking at the young actors who play Jack and Diane," he said, "those are the same questions that they had, because they’re so innocent and so pure, and they’re only 10. We had to have real conversations with these young actors about what’s going on in the world and why it is important for us to tackle these issues and talk about them."
Black-ish received a Peabody Award this year, due to it's bold discussion of difficult racial issues, set in a comedic medium.
"We pride ourselves on dealing with divisive topics on our show that bring people to a table, who have differences of opinions and create that dialogue. Hopefully when we leave this table, we have a better understanding of who sat across from us."
More roundtables featuring comedy actresses, drama actresses and actors and reality hosts and producers will roll out throughout June in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With the Hollywood Reporter starting June 26 on SundanceTV, with the premiere of the Comedy Actors Roundtable on Sunday, July 17. And look for clips at THR.com/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.