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‘Is That What We’re Doing?’: ‘Black-ish’ Spinoff’s Casting Decisions Sparks Colorism Debate Among Fans

It has recently been announced that a new spinoff of “Black-ish” titled “Mixed-ish” will premiere this fall. The series will be set in the 1980s as a prequel of the popular ABC sitcom, and it’ll focus on the life of a young Rainbow Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross‘ “Black-ish” character.

And while some are excited about another “Ish” spinoff being added to the franchise, some have a problem with the casting. That’s because on “Black-ish” Anna Deavere Smith, a fair-skinned actress, plays Bow’s mother, and on “Mixed-ish” Tika Sumpter will be the mom.

Right away, a lot of people expressed confusion as to why the mothers on the two shows look so different.

“Ok so Tika is playing the mom on #Mixedish but Rainbows mom on Blackish is very light….. Ummm explain this to me,” one person commented.

“We’re still going forward with the BLACK-ISH spinoff about teenage Rainbow & how her dark-skinned mother Tika Sumpter got older & somehow became light-skinned Anna Deavere Smith?” another person wrote. “Is that what we’re doing?”

“Bows mom got that Michael Jackson situation,” someone responded to that tweet.

The casting decision ended up sparking a colorism debate on Twitter after fans began noticing other issues with the show such as its name, “Rainbow” and her siblings lightness and the fact that it appears the show cast Sumpter just to have a dark-skinned person represented whether or not it fit the show.

“The answer to the lack of dark-skinned representation in media is not to limit that of the lighter-skinned. That exchanges one issue for another,” someone stated. “EVERYONES STORIES NEED TO BE TOLD! We must hold those in power accountable for telling diverse stories not attack ourselves.”

“Plot-wise, if Bows mother was dark-skinned she would have been able to have the convos better in the colorism episode,” another person wrote. “Bow being mixed with a light-skinned mother really influences a lot of her character imo. I loveeeee Tika but it’s bad casting. #mixedish.”

While the show’s announcement has caused quite a stir on social media, there are some folks who are excited about the new spin-off.

“love good representation! proud to be #mixedish

“Yay for @blackishabc but even more yay for #mixedish! So happy that both spinoffs of the mothership are female-led! #SeriesPickUp#Renewed”

“Mixed-ish” will premiere this fall.

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