TBS has announced a new black gay male comedy-drama titled “Tony and Dave” which will be produced by Tyler Perry.
The setting is Houston, Texas where Tony (Omari Hardwick) is a very successful Networking Engineer Director and Dave (Mel Jackson) is an Aircraft Mechanic. The two are in a 3 year relationship.
Rounding out the supporting cast will be Tony’s older brother Andre
(played by Rockmond Dunbar) who struggles with his brother’s sexuality.
The writers and producers stated…
“the goal of the show was to display the normality of regular everyday gay men of color and to show the real image of the black gay male vs. the stereotypical images of reality TV and other mediums”.
Are you excited? Well guess what? Don’t be because I just made the whole thing up. Yeah sorry about that. I know I am an asshole for getting you all worked up. But I did this to prove a point. A reason you may have gotten so excited was because currently there are no positive functional homosexual black or minority male couples on television. NONE.
No positive examples to showcase who we really are. No examples to show other black gays of what a secure, functional, stable, happy relationship looks like. No examples for the black gay male youth to strive towards when it comes to what a positive gay long term relationship resembles.
Do you remember the criticism when “The Cosby Show” first hit the airwaves? Black folk said the show (a comedy) was not realistic. How can a black family have both a doctor and a lawyer as parents? The spin off show, “A Different World”, was the first of its kind with a setting at a historically black college or university.
These were some of our first modern examples of blacks on both the big and small screens, being progressive, educated, and successful. Wanting to achieve and striving to better themselves and the community. While “The Cosby Show” rarely had any controversial topics; “A Different World” had shows that dealt with domestic violence, pregnancy and drugs to name a few.
even remember in the early 90’s many rap videos using college campuses as there backdrops.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a television show to inspire and influence gay black men (young and old) to want something better for ourselves?
Before you bombard the feedback section listing all the black gay male characters or relationships that have sprinkled the small screen throughout the years while highlighting “Noah’s Arc” (oh god no); ask yourself what black gay male couple/s that you know of had a starring or reoccurring whole on any particular cable or broadcast network series?
Right now there are no alternatives on television to the stereotypes that black gays are just gossiping, partying, promiscuous, HIV infected, vain, materialistic effeminate men who can’t maintain a relationship more than 3 months.I strongly believe if there were more positive representations of homosexual black men in relationships in the media; it could eventually lead to a reduction in the spread of STD’s and lessen promiscuity, even if only by a small percentage. It could lead to more of us thinking highly of ourselves and not viewing our homo or bisexuality as something that is unnatural and can be prayed away.
But I do think there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. On the LA Complex, even though the relationship between the two black male characters is still very dysfunctional; it’s the first time starring roles featuring two black male characters have been seen together in an intimate relationship on any major broadcast television channel.
Who knows what can happen within the next 5 years. Maybe the fictional comedy that I describe in the opening of this post can get the green light and become reality. Who knows? In the words of Jesse Jackson, “Keep Hope Alive”!