Please go to 43:00 minutes and listen to this racist condescending rant by an anchor and "jazz pianist" Judy Carmichael as she describes one of our legendary pianist Mulgrew Miller. She refers to her encounter when meeting him. She describes him as "King Kong" and specifically said he plays like "King Kong."
I use to be a judge/coach on the WBGH show "Sing That Thing". I am also a contributor to WGBH and spent a considerable amount of time supporting PBS and NPR. I am beginning to see a pattern of behavior and racist commentary that convinces me that there is a systemic challenge these media outlets are facing. Black people are being victimized on a daily basis by the Electronic and Print media on-air personalities and producers who have "diarrhea" of the mouth when it comes to their analysis or referral to Black people in particular.
When I was not invited back to WGBH's television show "Sing that Thing" for the third season, I was sent on my way with the following statement from the Executive Producer indicating they: had to make significant budget cuts, and "besides we could not have two Black guys on the show at the same time."(tic)
"Some are guilty but all are responsible." What role are you playing in your organization to challenge, chastise and terminate those who exploit this medium by reinforcing in their commentary racist imagery and historical stereotypes?
Clearly, there is a problem.
Maybe if there were more Black anchors and radio personalities or even two of us on some shows at the same time, this might bring an end to these debased rants.
After all the work so many of us have done in our professional lives, it is deeply offensive and disheartening that when we turn to our public broadcasting stations underwritten by the federal government and donations from folks like you and me, we are accosted by racial animosity and reminded of the regression taking place in America.
In the 50's some Blacks were elated to be "the only one". After the murder of King, Till, Evers and Malcolm X it was deemed as our failure if we were viewed as nothing more than the token black hanging out near the kitchen.
On behalf of legendary iconic black artists who can no longer speak for themselves I write to say we are not niggahs, Jigaboos, hoods super predators, spooks, Bucks, Black Brutes, Mammies, Coons, Pickaninnies, and certainly not primates. And if King Kong ever played the piano, you should widely air it on one of your public broadcasting or National Public Radio Stations. I am sure it would be one of your most significant fundraising efforts.
Lawrence "Larry" Watson
SaveOurSelves Productions LLC
PO Box 302438
JP Mass 02130
Professor, Berklee College of Music
Ensemble and Liberal Arts
Member, SAG/AFTRA, Boston Chapter