4.26.2014

About Columbus Short Leaving "Scandal"...

See Also

Black, Famous, Getting into Trouble (Double Standards)

This is a second time a black man hasn't made it past Season 3 on a Shonda Rhimes show.

Now, before I continue, I want to unequivocally state a couple of things: I don't condone domestic violence.  I don't condone calling one's coworkers slurs.  While we're at it, I don't condone adults sleeping with minors, either.

At the same time, I'm getting the impression that black men are under extreme pressure in Hollywood to be "perfect" on and off-screen, while...say, Kelsey Grammer can spend a good chunk of Frasier in a drunken stupor or Robert Downey, Jr. can live in and out of jail for years...but they can both go on to be multimillion-dollar successes.  And that's just two white celebrities which come to mind immediately; we could spend all day listing famous white folks who drink, do drugs, smack spouses, screw children, and crash cars...yet their careers seem to somehow go on quite successfully, and their money remains intact.

And you know why?  Studios are willing to bend over backwards, pull strings, and overall find ways to keep white actors on screen.  I mean, friggin' Jonathan Rhys Meyers has had his fair share of outbursts and addiction problems (slurs included).  But since NBC was hell-bent on having him play that shittastic incarnation of Dracula, they delayed the bulk of his salary until he completed the first season without incident.  In short, they worked with him to keep his career going.

Meanwhile, all a Negro has to do is transgress once or twice...and that's all she wrote, folks!

So I'll be honest; I don't feel all that optimistic about Columbus Short's career post-Scandal.  I mean, Isaiah Washington - 'til today - is a chiseled, sexy, polished, God-like specimen of a man, yet look at his career post-Grey's Anatomy.  And dude's already 50, y'all.

Granted, Columbus's youth works in his favor, but still...I don't picture folks lining up to hire this guy.  Shows and movies tend to gravitate towards a two-Negro maximum (which is why I'm not surprised Scandal was so hasty to write out Harrison after Joe Morton arrived on the scene), and shows have not been all that Negro-friendly since the 1990s.

Now, I'm not condoning what these people do off-camera; that's not at all what I'm saying.  What I'm saying is, if you're willing to end careers over bad behavior (which I can understand), end everyone's...not just "certain" ones.

21 comments:

  1. I hate that Columbus will not be a part of Scandal anymore but you do bring up the point about the amount of Black men.. or Black folks for that matter.....can be on a show.

    I love Shonda Rhimes but my biggest pet peeve with her is how she can be so dismissive in firing them like that. It's not that I'm condoning domestic violence or homophobia (when she fired Isiah Washington from Greys Anatomy) but they should have been given a second chance. I will guarantee you that if Millie was fired from Scandal, you will most likely chaos from her White viewing audience for her to come on there. Notice that when a White person committs a transgression against a Black person,there is always some kind of lame excuse or that they deserve a second chance.Not that long ago, I was reading an article about the owner of the LA Clippers telling Magic Johnson and other Blacks not to come to his game (Ironically, his mistress is Black/Mexican.. what a despicable woman) . You did read too many of the White commenters stand up against this man. Excuses... and more racist excuses..came from their mouth.Were is the "the owner should be fired" mantra at?

    If Shonda is trying to impress Hollywood by hastily firing Black people, she's really kidding herself. As the saying goes "First hired ,first fired".She doing what she think they would do to Columbus, but the next thing you'll know, they'll show her the door. You can't trust Hollywood.

    All of this just reminds me of what my mother would say .Black people can't do what White people do.Charlie Sheen can beat his wife and drug himself and he's still get roles yet Black people get fired for the first incident. I also will agree, I don't think that Columbus will have them many jobs coming his way. Its not supposed to be that way.

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    1. I hate that Columbus will not be a part of Scandal anymore

      They're really losing good people on there. Henry Ian Cusick (real last name Chavez, by the way) left in Season 1, and that was not cool. I have a feeling Darby Stanchfield just might pack her shit and GTFO next season.

      It's Grey's Anatomy all over again (and a recent comparison was noted. The show is taking that seemingly fated dive during its 3rd season. We've got bad plot choices, new regulars coming on whom we don't like, and good people being sidelined, then eliminated. And yes...we have the requisite black man getting fired.

      I'm not going to follow this show anymore; it's not doing anything for me, really. Besides, when diehard fan Kid Fury is throwing in the towel, you know it's time.

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    2. @M-actually it was a recording of (the owner) him telling his girlfriend not to bring her black friends to his games. She had taken a picture with Magic Johnson and posted it on her instagram/facebook (can't remember which) and he got mad. This man is also married and dating this chick. They have an open relationship also.

      As for Columbus Short. I was always taught just because white people do it don't make it right. Is it messed up that whites do the same stuff and get more chances yes. But what do you expect? Its THEIR world. We all know that when we mess up its going to be the ax; while if you are white you get a paper cut. We have to work ten thousand percent to get one quarter of the credit IF that much. He got himself fired.

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    3. Ain't that something? We're good enough to buy those ticket and play those games but not good enough for this woman to have Black associations? My God! this man is sooo sick with hate. Unfortunately, this wasn't the first time this bastard expressed his racism. It was said that Donald discriminated against Black and Latino tenants one of this apartments referring to them as " smelly and "unclean"( Black people) ," Lazy" and " Hanging around" ( Latino). This man makes me sick.

      Far as Columbus, right on point about our place in their society. If our own president can't get a break from racists, what on earth does Shonda think they will do with her? I hate when Blacks and other minorities does stuff like that. She's doing Hollywood's dirty work for them . Sure ,they'll tolerate her but that's it. She never know if they ( Hollywood) is trying to find a way to screw her over. I love Shonda,but she shouldn't do what Hollywood may do to her.

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  2. I just don't understand what happened. it was like a cluster of scandals(sorry) hit him all at once right befoe his character_______. almost as if it were designed that way. I don't doubt the claims made against him, but the show really seemed to take advantage of it before the public was even made aware.

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  3. This is a good discussion that is hard to have, so I appreciate you doing it. I'm so disappointed by his personal problems and hope he uses the time away to get help, b/c the DV is no joke, but yeah, his career is probably over.
    Sean Penn beat the tar out of Madonna and Roman Pulanski and Woody Allen are child molesters and Hollywood loves them.
    So sad b/c when I first saw him I was happy to see a handsome black man with a beautiful black wife.
    I'll probably have more thoughts but am many episodes behind on Scandal so have been avoiding most articles about it since I don't know what happened this season after he slept with that crusty, basic blond chick.

    Also disappointed b/c he was apparently good friends with the late Lee Thompson Young, and shortly after his suicide, Columbus Short mentioned a movie project that they had been working on (a screenplay) and he promised to finish and get it made, so now that won't happy either.

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    1. Thanks. This is a difficult discussion. Had I been in Shonda's place, I too may very well have made the same decisions, and not simply because I feared negative press, but because I couldn't imagine coming to work day after day and sitting on set with a wife-beater. So I get it.

      And Harrison was beloved eye candy; so it's not like he was going to axed anytime soon had Columbus Short behaved himself. Same for Isaiah Washington; if he'd kept his mouth shut and his temper in check, he could've had a much more remarkable career than he's had. And Shane Sparks...what a gifted choreographer. At one time he was working on both SYTYCD and ABDC making that paper. Was it really THAT hard to keep his zipper zipped 15 years ago?

      This is all just so disappointing.

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  4. Let me see that I would LOVE to hear about white actors who screw up, and badly. And something tells me I won't get that kind of news from TMZ, at least not at the frequency as they do black actors and black athletes.

    But back on the heart of the matter.

    Hollywood gives white actors a pass everytime they act the fool. But black actors don't have that privilege. I don't condone wife beater or child molesters, but it's pressing when you're black in America. We have too few images in the mainstream as is that doesn't involve us playing ball, rapping and singing or fighting on some mundane reality TV. The few images that are on the outside is valuable to us.

    So, when we hear about actors like Short and his domestic violence charges, we get saddened for a couple of reasons. We are disappointed that (another) black actor has proven a horrible racial stereotype or has done something obviously wrong. And we know that sooner or later, his career will likely go down the drain because of it.

    On the other hand, news of white actors acting up is not only very limited, in my humble opinion, but it's overlooked in Hollywood. In some cases, it's practically praised. George Clooney recently announced his new engagement. He has a reputation for being a womanizer. But he's well respected in Hollywood, and Hollywood news is treating this like a major deal almost worthy for celebration.

    We all know black folks aren't perfect. We're human. We make mistakes. But when you're famous, you can't be human, at least not in the way white people are seen. You have to be almost Jesus-like. One wrong move or two...or three, and your career is in on the road to jeopardy, and news sites like TMZ will hump on your misfortunes because to them, that's news.

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  5. I dunno if you've read this, but this goes right along with this article. Although it's about Chris Brown, it talks a lot about the double standards in how we view actors who abuse women when it comes to race.

    http://www.bustle.com/articles/7740-chris-brown-and-a-history-of-celebrity-violence-in-black-and-white

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    1. I was just about to bring that up. I don't condone anything this fool has done or continues to do. But I find it strange that Anderson Cooper goes in on Chris Brown, but...brings Eminem on his show and doesn't bring up the domestic violence incidents he had with his wife, or all the violent lyrics and verses he wrote about her. Granted, Eminems ex-wife/baby momma whatever she is, isn't a celebrity like Rihanna is and pictures of the assault didn't blow up in the media. But he clearly has issues with women that he expresses both lyrically and by his actions. Why wasn't he called on that? He writes songs about murdering the mother of his child. Why is he not dragged in the media. Oh because people conveniently like to forget it and because hes so "talented". Blah blah.

      I will say this for Chris Brown, his music isn't my taste, and I never got what the hype was about his supposed "hotness" personally but I understand his appeal to other people. And when he performs you can tell that he puts a massive amount of effort into it and that he genuinely enjoys it. So many of these pop stars phone it in, but I can't ever say I was bored watching him perform, the few times I did watch him. He definitely has talent. I think even while Chris Brown was getting dragged in the media, Charlie Sheen was a media darling at the time. He was mocked but he wasn't taking a paycut for AAAALLLL of the stuff that he did.

      There is a lot of racist anger in the way these people are treated versus white people who do the same thing( in some cases worse.) Its like all of society has to put them "in their place" for not being a good darky. But when the offending celebrity is white, well...we'll just hold their paycheck until they dry out/cover it up, we can't let this affect their image.

      Hopefully Short gets the help he needs. And his spouse and children get the help they need also.( Didn't his actor friend just commit suicide? Hes got a lot going on.) And he can keep working eventually. In one capacity or another.

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    2. *nods* Which is why these conversations are so difficult. We don't co-sign with their behavior, but we do find it odd that only the black male celebrities get made examples of.

      Meanwhile, women get dragged regardless...but that's different discussion for a different day.

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    3. Omg sooo much with the women comparison. Like I hate to be put in a position to defend Lindsay Lohan( soceity why do you make me?) but...Kiefer Sunderland any body? I had a friend who worked in Hollywood amd she said that male actors do what Lindsay does all the time and never get called on it.

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    4. A year ago when Chris was accused of hitting Rihanna, I was pissed not because I sided with what he did to her...I didn't.. but I was furious of how some of our wasn't seeing the whole picture of what was really happening to him.

      Sure, its never cool to hit a person but let's be honest here: half of those " Rhianna Fans" weren't in support of her. Some of them were using that event to express their racism and god knows their racial coding was so evident that they couldn't hide behind their hatred any longer. White racist have never been good at hiding their racism.

      Just like Chris said, why don't media jump down the throats of Charlie Sheen like that? Its also shameful how he's on jail like that. Lindsay Lohan Should have been in there but she only gets rehab. Chris has a mental illness.He should be in a mental institution but no.White society still haven't gotten over the OJ verdict and have to examplize some Black person. In this case it's Chris.

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    5. Yes, and it was really disgusting when ppl made light of the fact that he had been raped as a child. There is a lot in his past that might contribute to what he currently is. And if he was white, he would get sympathy and would not be in jail. I think the correct response is in the middle. B/c now the jail time seems like it's still at the Rihanna incident and he needs more than just jail time.

      We also see that double standard where white men are excused for follies of their "youth" in their 30's and 40's, but very young black men do NOT get that pass. Charlie Sheen was pushing 50 during his most recent a$$ showing.

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  6. Oh, kind of adjacent but there is also a crazy double standard when it comes to "baby daddying". Lots of high profile white actors and singers have had lots of kids by a lot of women that they never marry but somehow it is never portrayed in a bad light even when some of them are in very public efforts NOT to claim or support those kids.
    Mick Jagger and Steve Jobs both had children that they worked overtime not to acknowledge or support, and Clint Eastwood and Marlon Brando were setting world records in having kids with women they weren't married to long before the term "baby daddy" came into use.
    Colin Farrell and Owen Wilson both have at least a couple of baby mammas a piece.

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  7. It's like an article I read from South Africa about white masculinity. The writer talked about how no one ever talks about the pathologies behind it, one of which includes domestic violence. Yet, domestic violence among blacks is made to be examples of deplorable behavior and are turned into black pathologies by whites and white-owned media.

    Meanwhile, domestic violence is not discussed or racialized when it comes to white people, let alone white celebrities. Then again, why should it be if white people control their images?

    What's more messed up is that you will have white folks act high and mighty and go out of their way to express their disdain for black wife beaters. But they are unsurprisingly silent when it comes to their own white wife beaters. Hell, some of them would even show support for them even after the fact.

    I always say that if a social problem is to be challenged, it must be confronted in its entirety and honestly. Turning it into a pathology of a group of people and purposely ignoring the problem in your own backyard is half-assed.

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    1. Another example would be the gentleman’s agreement the press enjoyed with the Kennedy boys. The same could be said for Franklin Roosevelt for its alleged the press purposely kept the knowledge of his many mistresses from the public eye. I’ve always considered white people to be both a secretive people (as they do most of their dirt behind closed doors) as well as a political people. It was considered common knowledge that both John and Bobby Kennedy bedded Marilyn Monroe, but divulging such salacious tidbits could damage our Democracy (so they thought).

      Furthermore, white men so identify with each other that many find it almost impossible to hold their leaders/co-workers to a standard they hold most people of color. We see it both in corporate America and in the upper echelons of government. It is thought the roles/responsibilities of these white men are so important you would actually be hurting these institutions should the person be removed/demoted from their job, no matter what one may have done in private. White people tend to view people of color from the standpoint of privileged parent, in which we’re constantly being admonished, "Don't do as we do, do as we say".

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    2. "It is thought the roles/responsibilities of these white men are so important you would actually be hurting these institutions should the person be removed/demoted from their job, no matter what one may have done in private."

      This explains why people defended Roman Polanski. And continue to work with and defend Woody Allen.

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  8. @ Anonymous

    Don't post as Anonymous.

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  9. In somewhat adjacent news, I read that Isaiah Washington is being brought back for an episode of Grey's Anatomy b/c Sandra Oh's character is departing. The same ppl who have boo to say about Sean Penn, Michael Fassbender, or Charlie Sheen all having thriving careers are REALLY mad at Shonda about this. And again, it's a situation where it's hard to chime in b/c no, I don't condone his behavior but wonder why WM don't have to pay the same price. They should all be on the street. All of them.

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    1. If I were Isaiah I would not have came back, not even for a brief appearance.

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