Brian White Clears Up the Confusion: He Doesn’t Hate Black Women
Many people walked away from Brian White’s interview on the portrayals of black women on reality TV thinking he has serious issues with all black women—except his mother and sisters who he shouted out—but the actor recently spoke with Essence.com to clear the air and get one thing straight: He doesn’t hate sisters.
Essence asked Brian flat out how he feels about black women and whether his words from the Hello Beautiful article were misconstrued. Here’s what he had to say:
On whether he hates black women
No, come on. I’m Black Carpenter [the tile of his book and youth development program]. I’m out making sure kids have a future. I did that interview on speakerphone and my mom was in my car with me. I said the majority of what we, as a community, celebrate in the media, isn’t worthy of our women. Not the ones that I know and love. I’ve been out on the road with the UNCF, NAACP, and National Urban League doing Black Carpenter or working with little girls and boys in schools. I’m about that, more so than anything else. I’m not trying to be famous; I’m trying to make a difference. That’s all I meant to say. I apologize for any confusion.
Why his interview was so controversial
I don’t know. There are probably lots of reasons, but I feel like that’s what sells. In our community, it’s very difficult to sell substance. I’ll say this: anything that can be construed as negative gets a lot of play but if it’s super positive getting actual creditable media and then that extra blogger is much harder.
What he meant by “You can’t call it a stereotype if it’s the majority”
I’ll use my role as Randy in the movie ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’. People get mad and say that’s a stereotype of Black men. I’m saying guys like Randy might be a stereotype but when I go to the club on Friday, I see 150 of them grabbing sisters by the wrist going, “Yo, come over here.” That’s not how gentlemen act. We support those images because they a little closer to truth than we care to admit. Let’s take a character like, Madea, who is based on Tyler Perry’s aunt. She’s like 6-feet-tall and probably has a gun in her purse right now. Tyler is holding up a mirror. In traveling across the South doing plays, I met a lot of Big Mommas, like Martin Lawrence’s character. Sure, we’re exaggerating a little bit, but there’s some reality in there.
Whether he feels like he has to defend himself for not having a black wife
Yes, I do. I have five younger sisters. My sister Ashley has a Caucasian husband and my sister Erin has an African husband, from Liberia. My other baby sister is a sophomore, and she’s dated every race from all over the world. And that was why I popped off about my wife. Because that’s the biggest love of my life, acting is second. It made me uncomfortable to be challenged on who I love. I thought, ‘There are 31 flavors of ice cream at Baskin Robbins, can I like one?’ Does it mean that I don’t like the others? No. It’s just confusing because I try to be positive and I think I’m about something that’s valuable, and to be slighted for love, or whatever, it’s just frustrating especially in 2012.
What do you think about Brian’s comments? Does it change your opinion of his first interview at all?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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