HELLO AMERICA!—For several years now, I have been viewing MSNBC that has several fascinating, gifted people hosting the news and talk aspect of the programming. However, they have all made the same viewing mistake, and that is in the “guest” department to comment on anything hot in the news. However, the one guest that makes me want to throw stones at the screen is award winning Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.
Eugene, obviously, is a fine writer with tons of experience, not only nationally, but internationally as well. However, when he is on camera, it is the most painful few minutes a viewer could experience. He looks great on camera, but when it is his turn to comment on a very controversial issue, the few minutes he is on camera turns into a nightmare. He stutters, takes a breath at the wrong places in a sentence, and gives the impression that English is definitely not his native language. When he finally finishes his few moments on camera, one is left feeling they have been tortured. Then too, it is especially sad for those of us of color who have always been made to believe one has to be prepared, even to appear as a guest commentator on many of the shows on FOX, CNN and all the rest of this type of formatted TV offerings.
However, MSNBC continues to schedule Robinson as member of a panel of responding commentators. Frankly, I have great respect for his accomplishments as a newspaper column, however, with all of the applause and awards it is quite obvious that our boy, Eugene, should remain in his office at the Washington Post where he obviously belongs. Sorry Eugene, I’m proud of you, but I have been a columnist, and a radio host for 25 years (KDIA & KRE) in the San Francisco area; to build up a fan base, one had to make the audience feel comfortable, had to make the audience feel like old friends, or family, in other words, every word spoken had to be heard and understood.
By the way, when President Biden announced the easing up concerning the wearing of “masks” and gloves, it is a tremendous hope for those of us in the film, and theatre industry. It has only been a few days, but slowly the major restaurants, and entertainment clubs on Hollywood Boulevard., as well as on the Sunset Strip are giving an indication they are going to begin hiring and dealing with their usual game of promoting who and what they are. Actor’s agents are actually taking calls, rehearsal halls are quietly being rented, and theatre workshops are advertising for those interested in being coached on every possible professional level.
Film projects are being offered to the major studios to be picked up, or at least set up meetings; offering possible sitcoms and other major production ideas that had to be filed away until the “death virus” was under serious control. So, it appears that there is much hope spinning through the entertainment industry in every possible Hollywood way.
Even though the Oscars this year received the worst reviews imaginable from all reports. The organization is determined to win back the audience they have always enjoyed and respected in previous years. Of course, viewing so many of the talented performers of color being honored, or participating in the “hosting” department, was a breath of fresh air, and was quite comforting.
It was obvious that Hollywood was attempting to include so many of those who deserved being honored in so many facets of the industry. This, of course, is fine, as long as producers and casting directors realize, and are sensitive to the reality that the old stereotypes of black and brown actors should be locked away in their “yazza boss” office drawer forever. It was time for dialog, and civilized social attitudes, using proper English, capturing the class and intelligence of those speaking, simple as that.