Monday, September 26, 2011

TV Guide, Taraji P. Henson: She's A Person of Interest Now!

Images: It Ain't Right, But It Ain't Racist Either

"TV Guide" nor Debra Birbaum, as its Editor in Chief, are racist in my opinion. Over the years TV Guide has featured black celebs on its cover, and like most white people, Ms. Birbaum, based on her comments, doesn't think about black people, or any people of color, until she has to. Her job is to see green But white press you're not off the hook yet! This mess stirring around Taraji P. Henson's not being invited to be on the cover of "TV Guide" along with her, "Person of Interest", white co-stars speaks exactly to why non-white actors have to fight so hard for mainstream media coverage.

It's no secret that certain stars get the attention they do because mainstream press--code word: white press--gives it to them. That attention then helps influence tv ratings, award nominations, and most importantly future casting decisions. And THAT is why black press is often overlooked on red carpets even by black actors...but that's whole 'nother issue I'm not going to address today...but I WILL!

Blame It On The Pilot

Before writing this post, I watched the pilot episode of "Person of Interest" and most of the promotional clips on CBS's website. As an Editor In Chief, I can understand why Debra Birbaum, made the decision she did to focus on Michael Emerson and James Caviezel. The PILOT which she claimed influenced her decision doesn't demonstrate the importance of Taraji's role as Detective Carter in the series. Which begs the question just how do the writers plan to use Taraji's talents in this crime series?

I've seen plenty of "Person of Interest" posters and signage throughout Los Angeles, and not once has Taraji P. Henson been featured. So even I "cram to understand" why she's not pictured more considering her popularity. I'm sure in addition to Taraji's great acting talent she was also hired because of her MARKETABILITY, certainly NOT because the show needed to fill a diversity hiring quota. Right? Think before you speak in answering that executive producers!

I know some of you asking, "But isn't she's an EMMY and OSCAR nominated actress? Doesn't that count for something?" Ask CBS's marketing department! Ask the show producers!

Cram To Understand The Power of Social Influence

But the question of the day is whether Taraji should've complained PUBLICLY about NOT being of person of interest for TV Guide's cover. NOTICE SHE DID NOT MENTION RACE in her comments! According to The ROOT:

On FaceBook she posted: “WOW!!!! TV Guide is NOT including me on the cover with my cast members [sic]……..I am the female lead of a 3 member cast and I'm not included on the cover!!!!!! Do you see the [sh--] I have to deal with in this business…..I cram to understand!!!!”

On Twitter, she tweeted: "WOW @ TVGuide!!!!! Being a member of 2 academys I honestly have no words!!!!!"

Personally, I think the TV Guide snub was the straw that might have broken the camel's back. Taraji has an audience, a loyal fan base that will watch tv shows, movies, plays, whatever she's in! Need proof? She's got over 700,000 followers on Twitter and over 3 million "likes" on her fan page! But don't just look at the numbers, look at how the internet audience responded to her before and after the complaint on her profiles! That's proof of social influence and a testament to the FACT that TARAJI P. HENSON IS INDEED A PERSON WORTHY OF INTEREST! .

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