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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Just Because You're Paranoid, Doesn't Mean They're Not Out to Get Jamie -- Does It?

23

January

Take from someone who was dumb enough to pick an online fight with Roger Ebert over the saying "call a spade a spade" -- no, I don't play cards much -- there's nothing more embarrassing than calling out a racist incident which isn't.

Most recently, this bill fits an email I received four times yesterday on Oscar-winning actor/keyboardist/singer Jamie Foxx's music special for NBC Wednesday.

The email reads: "Please take the time to forward the below message to everyone in your address book. NBC is not doing any marketing & publicity on Jamie's Music Special on NBC because he stood his ground and wouldn't have any white guest as they requested. To make it even worse he had two controversial guest stars, that do not fit the "NBC profile" on his show. Tune in to find out who they are. They are purposely putting his show up against the second week of American Idol in hopes that it will fail. This will give them the excuse to never give another black person a music special because "it doesn't work". Let's show them that it does work, and that we support each other. Tivo Idol, and watch Jamie. J Foxx making history on NBC. This is the first time NBC has ever aired an entire young urban African American cast on a music special. We need to show support. This was not an easy sell for Jamie and he stood his ground to make it happen the way he saw fit.JAMIE FOXX MUSIC SPECIAL WILL BROADCAST WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25TH @ 8:00PM PST on NBC. PLEASE MAKE IT A POINT TO WATCH! There will be surprise special guests."

Sigh. Well, this overheated poster was partly right, anyway. It is rare for a young, black musician to get a prime time TV special, and it probably would help get more artists like Foxx on the tube if people watched the show.

BUT....

I know NBC organized a conference call with journalists to promote the TV special today and anyone who watched NBC last night saw a boatload of commercials for the show. My good friend, Washington Post staffer Richard Prince, even got a network publicist to acknowledge, on background, that NBC is airing the show twice this week -- Wednesday and Friday. I'm assuming they're airing it opposite American Idol in hopes of drawing a few young, urban viewers away from the Idol juggernaut.

Unfortunately, this race-based myth will likely richochet around in cyberspace -- right alongside the one about designer Tommy Hilfiger saying he doesn't like black people wearing his clothes on Oprah, as if she'd tolerate that -- getting lots of uninformed people angry for no reason.

(Though the Foxx rumor is too recent to surface here, I suggest checking out most Internet rumors you hear on a most wonderful urban legends factchecking site, Snopes.com.)

Perhaps we can all agree to focus on the stuff that matters -- poverty rates, education equity and real on air racism -- and let NBC roll out the red carpet for its Oscar-winning crooner in peace. Though the most unfortunate aspect of all this may be that we're still so troubled on these issues that this off-base email doesn't sound too far-fetched for some.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:35pm]

    

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