Saturday, April 23, 2005


On 'Desperate Housewives', Alfre Woodard is moving onto Wisteria Lane. Her character, Betty Applewhite, will join Charlie Young in 'The West Wing' and Lando Calrissian of "The Empire Strikes Back" as a Triple A - African-American Afterthought.

They must be expecting that type of reaction over at ABC, and they should have done something before the show premiered to avoid it. Why couldn't one of the original five "housewives" (Edie very loosely falls into that category) have been black? Even Mrs. Huber could have been more of a Weezy Jefferson than a Gladys Kravitz.

If Marc Cherry was too in love with the social dynamic he had created for his main quintet, Lynette Scavo could have still been a black woman. The role seems to be color-blind.

I suppose some might point out that at least he had an Hispanic couple among the regulars. And that might have been considered a major stride if it weren't for the fact that the wife is a slut and the husband is a crook and practically a wife-beater.

When it gets to the point where people are accustomed to seeing plenty of Hispanics in major roles on TV, maybe then it would be fine to fall back on a stereotype still perceived by the ignorant.

Okay, I'll admit I don't really care. The only thing that interests me about 'Desperate Housewives' is trying to find the splainin as to why the late and unlamented Mary Alice lives in Beaver's old house. I don't care how sexy and scantily clad the housewives may be - that droning narration by that dead nag grates on my nerves.

But what bugs me more is that Cherry should have realized he'd get some flack about the lack of blacks (ack!) and should have included a family for balance immediately.

I hate back pedaling.


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