In a brilliant stroke of “I’ma infiltrate The Man’s system, play nice for a few years, then flip it on his ass” genius, former gangster rapper turned family-friendly mini-movie mogul Ice Cube, aka O’Shea Jackson, recently paired with filmmaker R.J. Cutler (“The War Room”, “30 Days”) to put the smackdown on a hapless white family from Santa Monica, the Wurgels, by turning them black for six weeks. (I know, it sounds like a magic trick, doesn’t it? “At the count of three, you’ll feel your lips begin to swell…“)
Alright, alright, so Cube didn’t exactly force the Wurgels to go blackface, but would you say no if he asked you to switch skins?
The reality series, conspicuously entitled “Black.White.”, was picked up by cable channel FX and will purportedly show just what a “divided nation” we are. (Uh…Katrina, anybody?)
Per the article at UPI.com, Cube and his partner Cutler are simply beside themselves over the project:
“I’m really excited to be a part of a show that explores race in America,” Ice Cube said. “‘Black. White.’ will force people to challenge themselves and really examine where we stand in terms of race in this country.”
The Sparks family of Atlanta and the Wurgel family of Santa Monica, Calif., shared a home in Los Angeles for six weeks of filming during the summer.
“This series is an example of how television can be an extremely powerful and useful medium,” Cutler said. “I believe the Sparks and Wurgels took a big chance but are better people for having done so.”
Cube and Cutler brought in an Oscar-nominated makeup artist to administer the color changes, which reportedly took up to five hours per family member. The Sparks allowed themselves to be double-dipped in makeup that transformed them into whites. The Wurgels were dunked in chocolate. Then both families were mashed up together in a house in the Valley (quelle horror!), and before anyone could even get settled, racial disparity reared its ugly visage. The newly-black Wurgels, armed with sudden street cred, immediately began looting the shared house and busting random caps at everything moving. The freshly-white Sparks, in fear for their lives, made one quick phone call and were instantly approved for an open-ended bank loan for a new, bigger home, far, far away from the scary fake-black Wurgels. The Sparks spent the remaining five weeks basking in the luxury of their big new crib, where they ate caviar on the hour, swam in a pool filled with pure Evian, and were given the secrets to the dominant race universe.
No, no, people. That’s not what happened. Well, the part about the Oscar-nominated makeup artist helping the Sparks and Wurgels make the color transformation is true. But the rest of it? Well…I just made that part up. I’m a FICTION WRITER, remember?
Besides, something that outrageous would never happen in America. Black people in disguise getting instant open-ended bank loans?
Only on tv, people. Only on tv.