In an exclusive interview with Bossip, Hosea Chanchez, who plays Malik on the CW’s The Game, puts the television industry on blast for for their lack of Black representation as well as calls Black people out for their “lazy” activism. And, of course, you know we got the scoop on The Game:
Bossip: We personally feel like The Game was moved to Friday nights because the network is trying to cancel the show. It’s a setup. Is there any truth to that?
Hosea: I think that white America does not know what to do with Black people in television. I would hate to believe that it was a conspiracy to purposely eliminate us. We as black people are literally getting wiped off of the face of television. We’re being pigeon-held by a certain quality of television. There are only a couple of other black shows on TV, so you can see where I’m going. I don’t mind having that as a variety, but Mara Brock Akil has been the longest running show producer and between The Game and Girlfriends she’s been working for twelve years, consistently. My boss is one of the brightest, most educated women that I know. I’m talking about a woman who actually knows her stuff. I see the respect that our network gives to the show and to me it’s disrespectful to her.
Bossip: We used to have a lot of shows, but now we’re barely even seen on certain networks.
Hosea: Back in the day, the people that I looked up to were Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Will Smith and Bill Cosby. I look back on a time when most of these guys had a show on television. Remember TGIF, Thea, and Sister Sister was on? I look back to when there was so much variety, and all of these shows represented our culture in such a positive way. Not single motherhood, not this, not that. Not buffoonery. I look back on those times and I say ‘what’s changed?’ The only difference between now and then is that everybody was willing to fight for it. People were writing into networks complaining and boycotting. We don’t do that anymore. We leave it up to mainstream America to dictate what we like. We don’t fight anymore because we’re all too afraid to lose what we have. The mentality is,’ I can’t be out here fighting. What if somebody sees me and I’m trying to get on?’ In television, everyone has taken a back seat to not only wages that are just ridiculous, but parts and roles that are ridiculous. They have us so secluded in television and film that anything that comes by, we salivate at it. When you’re deprived of something, when something gets before you, it looks like steak. But, no, you [actually] eatin’ chitlins. But, it looks like you got the prime meat.
I respect Tyler Perry to the fullest because I believe that he is one of the greatest businessmen despite whether or not you agree or disagree about his content. His business sense is phenomenal. His giving back to his community is also a great thing, but it’s to the point where were so secluded, Tyler Perry could write a movie about throwing wet paper towels up against a wall and it would probably be a blockbuster hit.
Bossip: Whose fault is it? Ours or these networks’?
Hosea: We don’t have any activists. They could violate our rights as artists and where in the hell is Jesse Jackson? He aint around to fight for us. He was fighting for little Rudy and all them, but he aint fighting for us. Where is Al Sharpton? On top of that, where is the media, where is the press? It’s our own responsibility. Our show gets better ratings then some of the white shows on the network, but nobody every talks about it. This network got started with a lot of black shows, and after that happened, we see the new face of the network, which is all fine and I’m not pointing fingers. At the end of the day, it’s our responsibility as viewers to not just allow other people to dictate what we like.
Bossip: How do you feel about all of these Black people on reality TV shows?
Hosea:The thing about these shows that makes them special is the buffoonery. These black women and black men get they asses on TV to look stupid in front of America. I’ll go on the record and say it pisses me the f*ck off that you gotta be an ignorant ass Black woman fighting each other to be somebody. I can’t get mad at mainstream America for not supporting us, because Black people don’t even support us. It angers me that my producer creates such a quality show, and Tia and Wendy are the sh*t.
Bossip: Could this be the last season of The Game?
Hosea: I’m being very optimistic about it, but more than any other time, I have been more fearful of not returning this year. There are no more fish in the water that look like me.
Damn, y’all, we sure do remember TGIF! It would be a shame if our kids have to grow up without some of the quality shows that we had.
Click here for a list of the direct numbers, email addresses
and address to every president of every major network. Voice your concerns, Bossip Folk.