Meanwhile, Shanola Hampton, who plays Veronica on "Shameless," says she has received a small handful of hateful messages on Facebook calling her "the White man's slave." Her character is married to a White man named Kevin (Steve Howey) on the show. "They respect and love each other and they are sexually attracted to each other," Hampton says of Veronica and Kevin. They are the healthiest couple on the show, and the reddest of rednecks and the blackest of militant Black viewers root for Veronica and Kevin because they're relatable." Hampton says Veronica and Kevin's relationship would've been a bigger deal a decade ago, but "fans don't focus on the fact that Veronica and Kevin are different races," she says.
When the dramatic comedy returns for a fourth season next year, Veronica's mom (guest star Vanessa Bell Calloway) is a surrogate for the couple and pregnant with Kevin's baby. Hopefully, ' Shameless,' ' Scandal' and other shows, movies and books will open people's minds and encourage single Black women to expand their dating pools. But it's a start." Progress also was made when the movie version of "Parenthood" was adapted for TV.
In the original 1989 film, the mother of Larry Buckman's child was an absentee Black woman. Twenty years (ago), the story would've been ' I'm Black and he's White' every episode.
As viewers discussed the episode and Fitz's unforgettable one liner "watch me earn you" from beauty and barber shops to Twitter and Facebook, back when the episode aired in May, a cultural shift took place.
This is a relationship—no matter how doomed—between a Black woman and a White man and, amazingly, the characters' races were secondary, if mentioned at all.
resident Fitzgerald Grant vowed to throw away his career and his marriage so he could "earn" Olivia on ABC's soapy drama "Scandal." In turn, female viewers of all races swooned as Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell sang "You're All I Need to Get By" to punctuate the moment.
Sure: Fitz (played by Tony Goldwyn) is the married leader of the free world and Olivia (star Kerry Washington) is a professional fixer with a lot to lose, but love is love and these two—no matter how star-crossed—truly love each other."Mainstream broadcast networks are always wary that White audiences will think a show isn't for them if too many major characters are non-White," says Eric Deggans, the outgoing TV/media critic for the Tampa Bay Times and newly hired TV critic at NPR."Talk to producers on NBC's ' Homicide' or HBO's ' The Wire,' and you will hear them blame that dynamic for each show's low ratings, despite how beloved both were critically." Deggans, who also wrote the book "Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation" (Palgrave/Macmillan, .87), says Shonda Rhimes, the African-American woman, creator and executive producer behind "Scandal," knew it was hard enough convincing ABC to let a Black woman lead a show—something that hadn't happened since Diahann Carroll's "Julia" ended in 1971.In the documentary "Dark Girls," White hip-hop author and journalist Soren Baker says he knew he was attracted to Black women."I remember distinctly a conversation I had with my father when I was in elementary school," Baker says.Coincidentally, the ad debuted just weeks after the "earn you" episode of "Scandal." "As far as we've come in this country, we still have a ways to go," she says.