In a recent appearance on Aisha Tyler’s popular podcast Girl on Guy, funnyman Wayne Brady voiced his extreme irritation with acerbic comedian Bill Maher, who’s been using his name as a pejorative in conversations about President Obama. Maher’s latest on-air rants have twice referenced Brady when mentioning that the president “isn’t black enough.” What does Maher use as a gauge of what would be “black enough” behavior? Lifting up a shirt to show the gun tucked in one’s pants.
Brady is just the latest in a long line of black celebrities frequently associated with “safe” or “acceptable” blackness. Others before him have included Bryant Gumbel and Colin Powell. It’s a particularly sore spot for Brady, who’s gone as far as skewering his “too safe” image to hilarious and memorable effect on the “Wayne Brady Show.”
In a similar show of aggressive posturing, Brady told Tyler on her podcast that he’d “gladly slap the sh– out of Bill Maher,” a quote that’s been making the rounds for two days. Hear it in context below:
It’s always kind of awkward for me when Brady decides to drop f-bombs and goes out of his way to prove he isn’t as easy-going and unthreatening as he appears on the game shows he hosts. For those who’d indict him for “not being black enough,” no number of obscenities or threats will be enough to change their minds, and all the effort to prove himself just provides more fodder for ridicule. For those of us who are fans or who understand that “blackness” isn’t measured by one’s level of aggression, no defense of his blackness is necessary.
What do you think?