'Ask a Slave': Come Down to the Plantation

In her new Web series, actress Azie Dungey plays a plantation housemaid and takes questions about life.

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TR: What kind of response have you gotten from viewers?

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 AD: By and large it's just been completely positive. People really love it. I'm also getting emails from people all over the world. Just as we're talking, somebody just sent me an email and the subject line is "I'm obsessed with this show." There's a very small, and I mean very small, percentage of people that seem to put the series in the same camp as "The Harriet Tubman Sex Tape," but it's not even clear to me that they've watched it.

TR: What was your reaction to the since-deleted "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape"?

AD: I think I had the same reaction as most people. This really just doesn't work. I think for me it was kind of sad to see the story of Harriet Tubman reduced to that because there's so much in that story.

TR: Do you think the subject matter is too difficult to watch for some people?

AD: Slavery and comedy being in the same show is very difficult for some people, and they can't get past it enough to even watch it, which I understand. I had to remind myself that the joke in Ask a Slave is not on slaves or slavery. It's about America then but more importantly about America now.

TR: So there's an underlying message behind the series that goes beyond just laughs?

AD: It points to the fact that we have for so long devalued certain segments of our history. Where we glorify this mythical aspect of history, like the founding fathers, as the epitome of what it means to be an America but don't want to face the reality of that time.

TR: Do you feel a sense of responsibility as a black actress in portraying Lizzie Mae?