Rainbow Was Relegated to 'Lady Chores' on Black-ish, but Tracee Ellis Ross Wasn't Havin' That Ish

Tracee Ellis Ross in Black-ish
Tracee Ellis Ross in Black-ish
Photo: ABC

Tracee Ellis Ross isn’t boss-ish, she’s a whole boss.

In a recent episode of the LA Times’ TV podcast “Can’t Stop Watching,” Ross spoke with LA Times staff writer and show host Yvonne Villarreal and recalled the time she spoke up on behalf of her character Rainbow “Bow” Johnson, once she realized that Bow was relegated to typical sexist sitcom wife tropes.


Ross says:

”What I did speak up about from the beginning was, “Why am I carrying laundry?” “Why am I the person in the kitchen cooking right now, when this has nothing to do with the scene?” Even sometimes when it does have something to do with the scene. And I started coining them as “lady chores.” “Why am I doing the lady chores?” “Can’t [co-star] Anthony [Anderson] do the lady chore?” Because I don’t believe they’re “lady chores.” I believe they’re house chores. And I don’t believe that we should assume, because I believe every relationship is a negotiation between two people about what each of them feel comfortable doing, and I think the more that we portray that on television, the more that that becomes the reality out in the world, or matches the reality that the world actually is.”

It’s important to note that this isn’t an inherent knock or shaming on domestic work (after all, feminism supports the right to choose), but that these things shouldn’t be gendered in the first place. Chores are chores. Work is work. There is no such thing as male work or female work.

Speaking of work, Ross has been werkin’ the political circuit! She recently facilitated Night 2 of the Democratic National Convention.

“As a Black woman, I find myself at a crucial intersection in American politics. For far too long, Black female leadership...has been utilized without being acknowledged or valued, but we are turning the tide,” Ross said Tuesday night.


Ross is turning the tide in both her art and life, indeed.

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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.



That’s *Dr.* Rainbow Johnson.