Monday Morning Musings – S03E41 – Gabrielle Union

Monday Morning Musings – S03E41 – Gabrielle Union


Hey folks! It’s me, Michael Bach, your Diversity Dude, and this is Monday Morning Musings. (♫♪) So here I am, *not* in a hotel. That’s… that’s… why am I proud of that? I don’t know. Here in our Calgary office, at least our soon-to-be former Calgary office, so the background will get… Who cares… I want to talk about something that hit my radar just recently, quite by accident. You know, I watch a lot of TV, but it’s generally not ‘good TV’. Anyway… (laughs) And it’s a story about Gabrielle Union being fired from America’s Got Talent. Now, I don’t watch America’s Got Talent, it’s just not my thing, but this story caught my attention and really made me wonder what’s going on. So as it happens, Gabrielle Union was a judge on America’s Got Talent. She and the other judge, whose name I totally don’t remember, got fired and as the story goes, Gabrielle was fired for being ‘difficult’ apparently for raising issues related to racism. Imagine! How dare she? An African-American woman raise issues of racism on the show she’s on. And the other reason she got fired was apparently she got a lot of notes about her hair and appearance. So I want to unpack two of those. The first one that one of the incidents of racism apparently was a joke made by Jay Leno. It’s a, you know, ‘joke’ — I’m going to put in air quotes, because it’s not terribly funny. He made a comment about Simon’s dogs and apparently they look like dogs that would be in a Korean restaurant, which is just childish. It’s not funny. It’s really weak humour. I’m not a Jay Leno fan, so it doesn’t surprise me. I think that’s about the level of his so-called humour, but at the same time it just enforces racial stereotypes and it’s kind of gross. But what *really* caught me was something that… another article, when Jay Leno broke his silence and what he said, and I’m quoting here, and I’ll post the link down below, he said: “I love Gabrielle Union. She’s a great girl. I really enjoyed working with her.” When asked if she was treated fairly on the series, Leno said: “I don’t know … but I think she’s a great girl.” What do you do with that? I mean, first of all, he’s not her grandfather. He may be old enough to be, but that’s not the point. Secondly, when we are referring to grown-ass women as ‘girls’, we’re doing it to diminish them, to put them in their place. “Oh, aren’t you a pretty girl?” We don’t refer to men as ‘boys’. We don’t refer to Jay Leno or Howie Mandel or Simon Cowell as ‘boys’. They’re men, and it’s so disgusting to see that Jay Leno referred to her as a ‘girl’. The second thing is this whole conversation around women getting criticized about how they look, where you’ve got Simon sitting a couple chairs down, okay so I did watch it a bit, and he’s in a freakin’ T-shirt and you’ve got Gabrielle Union dressed to the nines, and somehow that’s not okay. There’s such a double-standard as it relates to the appearance of women, and particularly women of colour. Something was done by a broadcaster out of Australia, where his co-anchor on the news was getting constant criticism for what she was wearing. He wore the same suit every day for a year and then on the anniversary of wearing the same suit, he came out and said: “Okay, what’s the deal? I wore the same suit and no one commented, yet you comment every time she wears something.” There’s such a double-standard and we need to acknowledge it. We need to address it. We need to lay that dead moose on the table because it is not okay. And this whole thing with America’s Got Talent is so… (sighs) I think NBC and the producers of America’s Got Talent really have to do some serious examination about
how they treat issues of racism. And no, you shouldn’t just edit it out. I mean, the jokes never made the final cut, but that’s not the point. If you know they’re going to happen, you don’t let them happen. Jay Leno should never be invited back to America’s Got Talent. The other guy, who apparently did racist jokes, he should never be allowed on NBC ever again. That’s how we start to enforce this behaviour is by making sure people understand that it’s not okay. Okay, that’s it for me. I don’t want to rant anymore. Thanks for watching. (laughs) Please do remember to subscribe to my channel by clicking on the link and ring the bell so that you know when I post a new video, which is every Monday. Also remember to subscribe… I said that already… Click the Like button! Make sure that you like it because I like the likes, and share it with your friends on your other social media platforms. There’s a button for that too. What else? Oh! Connect with me on social media. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, I’m pretty sure that’s it… I am @diversitydudemb. And also remember to connect with CCDI’s social media channels, they are @CCDISocial. There’s more… OH! Talking To Canadians, the podcast. We’re coming to the end of our year. We’ve still got some great podcasts left. Remember to check it out wherever you get your podcasts or you can go to TalkingToCanadians.ca and get the links from there. That’s it! Only one more week before the Christmas holidays. Oooo, what do I do? Have a fantabulous week, and I will see you next week for another episode of Monday Morning Musings. Bye! (♫♪)

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