Black TV Watch: Debating Affirmative Action


(The Root) — It's easy to check somebody, especially on hump day. You're tired and stressed out, and you still have two more days before you get a break from the workweek. Apparently, that's just what happened on TV last night, because we watched a grown man get checked by his son in a funny role reversal, a lively debate on affirmative action and a goof on Chris Brown and Rihanna.

Guys With Kids, (Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. ET; NBC)

"Gary, you are not keeping my kid up all night. Besides, you can't even physically stay up past 11. How many times have I found you asleep on the toilet with a mouth full of Listerine?" —Marny


"When did smacking your child fall out of fashion?" —Gary

"You're right. I don't have to be my father! I married my father!" —Gary

Highlight: Gary's (Anthony Anderson) oldest son, Yoda, has been disrespecting him all day, and by dinnertime Gary has had enough. When Yoda decides he doesn't want to finish eating what's on his plate, Gary makes him sit at the table until he will. That doesn't work, so Gary raises the stakes — openly cat-daddying, eating mashed-up Peeps, sliding on an indoor Slip-N-Slide and sucking helium from balloons — all the things little boys love to do. But in the end, Marny has to come in and lay down the law, because Mommy knows best.

Key & Peele, (Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. ET; Comedy Central)

"Tonight I'm gonna hit that, hit that/And don't try to fight back." —"Chris Brown"


"Lover, lover/Let's take it slow/In crowded places so they'll know/That you're back with me."  —"Rihanna"

Highlight: Whether Chris and Rihanna are the couple you love to hate or just hate, odds are you've fist-pumped or head-nodded to one of their songs before. Before and after Crihanna's terrible brawl, they were artists who joined voices for pop music. Key and Peele bring you their latest music video, complete with a girating, studded, autotuned Rihanna and a pop-locking, angry, autotuned Brown. At this point, all we can really do is shrug and laugh. 


Watch here.

Don't Sleep! With T.J. Holmes (Thursday, 11 p.m. ET; BET)

"The loser always has an excuse for why he didn't win." —Tony Rock

"The world will only be fair when black people can be as mediocre as white people. There are plenty of mediocre white people who are well-positioned." —Dr. Marc Lamont Hill 


"You can't have fairness and freedom at the same time." —Alfonzo Rachel 

Highlight: On this Wednesday night's episode, affirmative action was on the table. Alfonzo Rachel, Tony Rock and Dr. Marc Lamont Hill were the invited guests. Almost as soon as Holmes asked his first question, the yelling began. Rachel said affirmative action should be done away with, but Dr. Hill — and just about everyone else in the room — claimed that to get rid of affirmative action would be to ignore the years of oppression that made it viable law in the first place. Even though she was barely mentioned, the debate was rooted in the recent case of Abigail Fisher. For Rachel, it was a difficult  conversation, between Holmes stepping in and Hill telling him that everything he's been saying in the last 20 minutes is crazy. To even get a word in edgewise during the heated discussion, it probably took every bit of energy he got from his morning Wheaties.


Celeste Little is an editorial intern at The Root.

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