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A White Guy Is Getting A Show On BET For The First Time In The Network's History

Jezebel – Gary Owen, a white comedian loved by black audiences, has landed a show on BET, making him the first white lead in the network’s history.

BET announced Owen’s reality series, Gary Owen Family, this week at Upfronts. “This is the new face of the American family,” Owen said at the event. “I feel like Ben Carson at the GOP debate.” The show, according to People, “will follow the antics of his culturally blended family, as his wife is black and their children are interracial.” Specifically, it’s about the couple’s journey to renewing their vows.

Owen, who co-starred in Think Like A Man, is known for making (and getting away with) jokes about his kinship with the black community. He’s also hosted BET’s Comic View, the only white comedian to have done so.

Somehow, maybe because his jokes seem to lean more appreciative than offensive, black people have embraced him and BET noticed.


How about that huh? A white guy getting ahead in America against all odds, first time for everything I guess. But seriously I like this move all around. You watch anything from this Gary Owen guy and he’s clearly going in hard on catering to a black audience — highlighted on his YouTube channel is a clip that’s like a love letter to Michelle Obama — and clearly it’s working for him and audiences that are selling out for him all over the place. And that seems like a good move overall. The color of your skin shouldn’t matter, how much you can entertain the black audience they want is what should. And if white-as-snow Gary Owen can do it better than other guys he’s competing against for the spot, then he should get the spot. Less like segregation, more like the Chappelle Show racial draft. That’s the best we could hope for out of 2016 race relations.



Also this answers one question I had with friends, some of color, recently after hearing Bill Simmons’ interview with Michael B Jordan where Michael B said that there aren’t enough movie scripts written specifically with black actors in mind that aren’t the pandering type of “black movies” (like the Tyler Perry genre) in Hollywood. So I wondered if maybe I could write one as a half do-good, half get-rich-quick scheme. But my friends said I probably wouldn’t get treated fairly writing the script even if I had the best intentions because I’m a white guy and people would take it offensively because it’s sort of paternalistic or whatever. And they’re probably still mostly right. But now I think maybe there’s hope for me yet despite my lack of screenwriting experience, awareness of black issues, and general inability to empathize with others. Thank you Gary Owen for inspiring us all to more effectively make money through pandering.