Exclusive Clip: Shahadi Wright Joseph Plays Ruby, Who Seems Curious to Be 'Painted White' Like Them

Them (2021)
Them (2021)
Screenshot: Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video

We know little to nothing about Them, but we don’t trust ‘em.

As the recent trailer debut of Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming anthology series has shown us, we have every reason not to.


Here’s the scoop that we do know so far about Them, via Amazon Prime Video’s press release sent to The Root:

The new terror anthology series, Them, will premiere Friday, April 9th exclusively on Prime Video. From breakout creator Little Marvin and executive producer Lena Waithe, Them is a limited anthology series that explores terror in America. The 1950s-set first season centers on a Black family who moves from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood during the period known as The Great Migration. The family’s idyllic home becomes ground zero where malevolent forces, next-door and otherworldly, threaten to taunt, ravage and destroy them.

Them stars Deborah Ayorinde, Ashley Thomas, Alison Pill, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Melody Hurd, and Ryan Kwanten.

The series is created and executive produced by Little Marvin along with executive producers Lena Waithe, Miri Yoon and Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment, David Matthews, and Don Kurt. Them is a co-production from Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios.

In an exclusive (and creepy) clip obtained by The Root titled “Painted White,” Joseph portrays Ruby Emory, who appears to be entranced by a can of white paint.

Them - Painted White / Amazon Prime Video (YouTube)

As I noted above, we don’t know much about this mysterious series yet, but if I had to guess, I’d predict the episode this clip is taken from may delve into the topic of colorism in some form. Are there supernatural forces involved here? Is little Ruby tussling with her self-image in a colorist society and the terrors in the new neighborhood are exploiting that in some way?

The clip further transitions into a series of quick shots showing images of a Sambo character and weird white women contorting themselves into privileged pretzels.

This clip, in only a few seconds, has opened up a world of possibilities to explore and I’m intrigued to see where it goes. I’m also very uncomfortable...


Them creeps onto Amazon Prime Video on April 9.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.