Tracee Ellis Ross on "Shelved" 'Black-ish' Episode and "Moving the Needle" | Comedy Actress Roundtable
"The biggest thing that has changed for me is the connection and the relationiship with my fellow women. There is a comraderie, a connection, a partnership, a shared experience," Ross told THR in regards to the #MeToo movement.
"As a human being," Tracee Ellis Ross feels a responsibility to comment on the current state of the world. "Not necessarily commenting on it," she told The Hollywood Reporter during the Comedy Actress Roundtable, "but being an active participant, and moving the needle in the direction I think it needs to be going, whether that's through my work, which sometimes is not within my hands, because it's a script that's handed to me, but the beingness that I bring to that role, or how I use my voice and the platform that my work has offered me."
When it comes to pushing that needle, Black-ish has rarely shied away from controversial topics while portraying a black American experience (for better or worse), but as Ross reminded the Roundtable, "There's an episode that was shelved."
"We have conversations about the subject matter of our episodes," Ross told THR. "The details of why the episode was pulled and everything that has surrounded that, I do not have the answers for. To a certain extent I have purposefully stayed out of those conversations, because I've had no power to do something beyond that. I've asked for the information, and pushed for the information I thought would be helpful to me and constructive in what I can do with it, because I find it frightening."
The Black-ish star went on to discuss how her life and perspective has changed during the era of #MeToo, saying, "The biggest thing that has changed for me is the connection and the relationiship with my fellow women. There is a comraderie, a connection, a partnership, a shared experience."
She argued to the Roundtable that these Hollywood examples have "connected us to the larger story of what is happening for women globally."
"For black and brown women, sexual harassment and the inequality has been a part of the experience," and while there has been activism and work done for women of all ethnicities for years, Ross feels "like the Hollywood thing sort of put it in the forefront, and there's nothing wrong with that, if that is a light that is shined on the larger picture toward women's equality in general and stopping violence against women."
Ross has one career Golden Globe for her leading role in ABC's Black-ish, in addition to two Emmy nominations for her performance in the series.
The full Emmy Roundtables air every Sunday on SundanceTV beginning June 24 and on THR.com the following Monday. The full Comedy Actress Roundtable starring Drew Barrymore, Ross, Molly Shannon, Debra Messing, Alison Brie, Rachel Brosnahan and Frankie Shaw airs Sunday, July 1, on Sundance TV. Tune in to THR.com/roundtables for more roundtables featuring talent from the year’s top shows.