Actors better role models?

Posted: November 5, 2004 in General

I’ve been watching Kevin Kill on UPN recently. It’s a bit of a “chick” show but overall pretty entertaining. Not something I’d normally make time for, but it stars Taye Diggs, who I think is one of the best non-A list actors out there*.I don’t know when specifically I started noticing Taye. I think it was probably in Go! (one of my favorite movies.) He’s been in a smattering of other things (including Ally McBeal,) all of which I’ve enjoyed watching him. I think what I like most about Taye is that he has a lot of personality that shines through in his characters (and Kevin Hill is no exception.)Anyway, so this started me thinking about black role models. I mean we draw on three main role models. Musical artists, sports stars and TV/Movie stars (sure there are others, but they are outweighed by the big three.) Sure there are excellent role models in each category, however I think (especially in music) there are far fewer positive black role models.Now I’m male, white and middle class so I’ll be the first to admit that I have no first hand experiences of what many of our society have been through, but I do see what stereotypes are built (and what I see in the media,) and that is that the predominant black role model is gangster rap and supporting the stereotypical “black” lifestyle. These artists come into their money and everything is “bling bling.” Not too many popular artists try to buck that trend.I have to admit that I’m leaving sports stars out of my analysis mostly because I’m not a sports fan, but also because I don’t think their media exposure is quite as high as with music and TV.So back to my original argument, and that is, that most of the black actors (and actresses,) we see don’t support the “bling bling” lifestyle. Maybe it’s because we don’t see their “real” life, but I don’t picture Taye Diggs driving around in his Cadalac Escalade with 25″ chrome dubs and a thumpin system.Maybe I need to do more research…* That’s not to say that Mr. Diggs, can’t act as well as an A-list actor (if not better,) just that he isn’t there yet. It’s more about clout than skill.


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