The NY Times has a story discussing FX channel's new reality show where a white family wears black makeup, and a black family wears white makeup:
"Black.White.," a six-part documentary that makes its debut on March 8, follows the race-swapping experiment of two families. The white Wurgel-Marcotulli family of Santa Monica, Calif., (along with Rose Bloomfield, the 17-year-old daughter of Carmen Wurgel) and the black Sparkses of Atlanta, including Mr. Sparks's wife, Renee, and 16-year-old Nick, undergo a racial transformation through the magic of sprayed-on color, wigs, contact lenses and other makeup tricks. The whites appear black; the blacks appear white.
The Wurgel-Marcotullis and the Sparkses, transformedThis obviously follows on John Howard Griffin's Black Like Me experiment in racial crossing over, which I always forget about. I'm surprised there hasn't been a more recent serious attempt to recreate Griffin's experiment. Has Black Like Me been discredited? I wonder why I never heard it discussed during college by my many classmates and friends studying ethnicity and the construction of race.
The show could be better than White Chicks (which I liked), but it can't be as entertaining as Eddie Murphy's hilarious experiment living life as a white man:
[ cut to Eddie, in white makeup and wig, talking to a black Loan Officer ]
Loan Officer: Now, let me get this straight, Mr., ..uh.. Mr. White. You'd like to borrow $50,000 from our bank, but you have no collateral, you have no credit. You don't even have any I.D. Is that correct?
Eddie Murphy: That's right.
Loan Officer: Mr. White, I'm sorry. This is not a charity. This is a business!
White Loan Officer: Uh, Harry, why don't you, uh, take your break now? I'll take care of.. uh.. Mr. White.
Loan Officer: Well.. okay. Thanks, Bob. [ exits ]
White Loan Officer: [ laughs, then sits ] That was a close one, wasn't it?
Eddie Murphy: It certainly was.
White Loan Officer: We don't have to bother with these formalities, do we, Mr. White?
Eddie Murphy: What a silly Negro!
White Loan Officer: Just take what you want, Mr. White. Pay us back anytime. Or don't. We don't care.