I feel like white journalists are trolling at this point.
On the heels of that atrocious New York Times article, in which Alessandra Stanley dismissed Shonda Rhimes as a valid mastermind of thrill, and instead praised her for perpetuating the angry Black woman trope, I’d think that white journalists would tread thoughtfully and carefully when writing about her or her creations.
As the “urban” saying goes … The streets is watching. Insightful responses from across the social media specter ranged from critical analysis to tongue-and-cheek humor. In delivery and content, Black bloggers and journalists dispatched compelling accounts of racism and prejudice in media, all while uplifting this era of Black female leads in primetime.
The backlash prompted an apology from the paper of record.
The fuckery coincided with the lead up to How To Get Away With Murder, ABC’s latest show produced by Shonda Rhimes and starring the talented and deserving Viola Davis. Another thriller with political overtones, Davis stars as Annalise Keating, a browbeating criminal defense lawyer and professor unafraid or unabashed to bend the law and her ambitious students for personal gain.
So of course, with the whirlwind of social media salaciousness surrounding the premiere, media outlets knew that anything referencing Shonda, Kerry, Viola and their shows would generate a cache of clicks.
Now, we turn our attention to People Magazine.
On their Twitter page, they posted this really dull and fantastically stupid tweet.
The tweet references Davis’ role as Aibileen Clark in The Help. There’s no need for me to analytically dissect this foolishness because you all know exactly why this tweet is offensive.
Unsurprisingly, the backlash was swift. But instead of anger, rage, or frustration, I measured a sense of exasperation and exhaustion. There was a collective sigh and a communal eye roll within the Black online space. We all muttered at the same time: Didn’t we JUST go through this?
There’s no way in hell People didn’t catch the NYTimes debacle. I suspect clickbait; a deliberate offense meant to galvanize Black anger and boost traffic.
I refuse to believe that these major media outlets are this ignorant. I absolutely refuse to believe that they’re so blind to Black female existence to the point where they’re continuously publishing articles that ignore, deny, and discredit Black culture.
We’re being trolled, ladies and gentlemen. We are being boxed into a corner, poked, prodded, and pissed on. Major media outlets are purposely pushing these pieces to incite anger. Why? Because where there’s controversy, there’s traffic. And where there’s traffic, there’s money. And where there’s money, there’s demand. And where there’s demand, there’s controversy.