Tyler Perry’s New Black Gay Comedy “Tony and Dave”
Discreet City l Octavius WilliamsTBS
has announced a new black gay male comedy-drama starting Spring 2013
titled “Tony and Dave”
which will be produced by Tyler Perry
.The setting is Houston, Texas where Tony (Omari Hardwick
) is a very successful Networking Engineer Director and Dave (Mel Jackson
) is an Aircraft Mechanic. The two are in a 3 year relationship.
The supporting cast is Robert (played by Jon Michael Hill) and Steven (played by Ian Kahn). They are an interracial couple that are friends with Tony and Dave and have been together for over 10 years. They also have a 12 year old son. There will be another gay friend to Tony and Dave named Jamal (played by Omar Benson Miller).
The show will also star Justin (played by Henry Simmons) who is Dave’s straight fraternity brother. Elisa (played by Essence Atkins) who is also friends of Tony and Dave and used to date Justin.Rounding out the supporting cast will be Tony’s older brother Andre
(played by Rockmond Dunbar) who struggles with his brother’s sexuality.The writers and producers stated…
“the goal of the show was to display the normality of regular everyday gay men of color and to show the real image of the black gay male vs. the stereotypical images of reality TV and other mediums”.
The pilot show opens with Tony and Dave just getting settled after moving in together when bad news strikes that Dave has lost his job. The first season will follow their ups and downs in this new chapter of their relationship.It sounds like Hollywood has come to their senses and will produce a show that finally counters the over abundance of effeminate homosexuals (95% white) that are currently on the small screen.Are you excited? Well guess what? Don’t be because I just made the whole thing up. Yeah sorry about that. I know I am an asshole for getting you all worked up. But I did this to prove a point. A reason you may have gotten so excited was because currently there are no positive functional homosexual black or minority male couples on television. NONE.No positive examples to showcase who we really are. No examples to show other black gays of what a secure, functional, stable, happy relationship looks like. No examples for the black gay male youth to strive towards when it comes to what a positive gay long term relationship resembles.Do you remember the criticism when “The Cosby Show” first hit the airwaves? Black folk said the show (a comedy) was not realistic. How can a black family have both a doctor and a lawyer as parents? The spin off show, “A Different World”, was the first of its kind with a setting at a historically black college or university.
These were some of our first modern examples of blacks on both the big and small screens, being progressive, educated, and successful. Wanting to achieve and striving to better themselves and the community. While “The Cosby Show” rarely had any controversial topics; “A Different World” had shows that dealt with domestic violence, pregnancy and drugs to name a few.Media has the power to influence whether some want to admit this or not. Many can tell you that “A Different World” made so many young black men and women want to go to college. I
even remember in the early 90’s many rap videos using college campuses as there backdrops.Wouldn’t it be great to have a television show to inspire and influence gay black men (young and old) to want something better for ourselves?Before you bombard the feedback section listing all the black gay male characters or relationships that have sprinkled the small screen throughout the years while highlighting “Noah’s Arc” (oh god no); ask yourself what black gay male couple/s that you know of had a starring or reoccurring whole on any particular cable or broadcast network series?
HBO’s Oz black homosexuality was mostly rape or intimidation. Six Feet Under was a dysfunctional interracial relationship. The Wire had a homosexual ex-con / robber. True Blood has a drug dealing, cross dressing homo-thug queen in a interracial
Right now there are no alternatives on television to the stereotypes that black gays are just gossiping, partying, promiscuous, HIV infected, vain, materialistic effeminate men who can’t maintain a relationship more than 3 months.
I strongly believe if there were more positive representations of homosexual black men in relationships in the media; it could eventually lead to a reduction in the spread of STD’s and lessen promiscuity, even if only by a small percentage. It could lead to more of us thinking highly of ourselves and not viewing our homo or bisexuality as something that is unnatural and can be prayed away.
But I do think there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. On the LA Complex, even though the relationship between the two black male characters is still very dysfunctional; it’s the first time starring roles featuring two black male characters have been seen together in an intimate relationship on any major broadcast television channel.
Who knows what can happen within the next 5 years. Maybe the fictional comedy that I describe in the opening of this post can get the green light and become reality. Who knows? In the words of Jesse Jackson, “Keep Hope Alive”!