Reports reveal that “Fame” actress, and former 3LW member, Naturi Naughton will join the “Mad Men” cast. And African-American “Mad Men” fans are going nuts. We wouldn’t be surprise to see record-breaking numbers for this episode, which is sure to be a turning point for the civil rights era fourth season. Sources reveal that Naughton will be a featured cast member, meaning that, unlike current Black caricatures on the show, she won’t fall into the peripheral casting of a maid, elevator or bathroom attendant, or some random sidewalk extra. But the question for many “Mad Men” heads is will Naughton have some sexual encounter with Don?
Some of you are asking why is this even important. Well, if you’re a “Mad Men” watcher, you know that Don gets it in and with any vagina in sight. Sleeping with Naughton’s character could possibly be the low-point “Mad Men” writers have been sort of fishing for, and will undoubtedly lead up to some explosive conclusion on the show’s season finale. Moreover, the Black female presence on most predominately White shows usually sparks some kind of sexual or violent climax on the show. We can cite Sanaa Lathan’s feature on “Nip/Tuck,” and Alfre Woodward’s casting on “Desperate Housewives.”
But aside from expectant Don sexual narcissism, albeit escapism, what will Naughton’s appearance do exactly for this near-finished season, and what is her purpose at all? The “Mad Men” story has largely been screened through a White man’s lens absent of Black bodies and Black sensibility. Although the show is currently set in 1965, and the country is sweeping with racial upheaval and civil rights protest, the story lines have largely obscured this reality, aside from small colored nuances and mere racial mentions.
So what can we expect from the three-year show’s first Black featured character who happens to be a woman? According to the episode description on “Mad Men’s” website, “An unannounced visitor at the Francis home rattles Betty.” Will this unannounced visitor be Naughton’s character? There’s little doubt from show enthusiasts that it won’t be. Guess we’ll have to watch and see.
“Mad Men” featuring Naturi Naughton will air this Sunday at 10pm. on AMC. Are you watching?