How TV Show ‘Johnson’ Highlights the Deep Diversity and Complexities of Black Men

How TV Show ‘Johnson’ Highlights the Deep Diversity and Complexities of Black Men

October 3, 2021 0

In Hollywood, pitching a series starring four Black men is considered a challenge. But it’s a challenge that the executive producers of the new TV show, “Johnson” overcame with ease. 

Multi-talented actor, writer, and producer Deji LeRay felt that it was time America had a show that centered around the stories of a Black male friend group, and clearly, others thought the same. So, after teaming up with his co-executive producers, actor Cedric the Entertainer, and film producer, Eric C. Rhone, LeRay and his dream team went to work on pitching the innovative series. “Johnson,” which found its home on Bounce TV, explores the lives of four lifelong friends who all share the common last name Johnson but aren’t related. The characters are written from the Black male perspective to explore “real, heartfelt, and honest” conversations about life, heartbreak, love, and everything in between. 

“We want people to find themselves in this story,” Cedric the Entertainment said to ABC News. “I want people to see that this does really represent my friend group. Everybody over here don’t fight. All my partners aren’t hard. I got a friend who falls in love every time he sees a woman.”The producers of “Johnson” have gone through the complicated but probably healing process of digging deep to discover who exactly and what they want the new series to portray. As a result, the show allows viewers to see Black men in all their complexities, and most importantly, vulnerabilities. 

From left: Eric Rhone, Philip Smithey, Thomas Q. Jones, Reesha Archibald, Cedric The Entertainer,
Derrex Brady and Deji LaRay on the set of “Johnson”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of A Bird & A Bear Entertainment

“The one misconception is that we’re not human, that we don’t love, that we don’t take care of our children,” said D. L. Hughley, who plays a mentor of the four friends on the show. “I think [the show] gives you another vantage point.”

The four friends are played by Deji LaRay, Thomas Q. Jones, Philip Smithey, and Derrex Brady. You can catch up with this dramedy series on Sundays at 8 pm on Bounce TV and watch as they defeat stereotypes that paint Black men as one-dimensional and navigate the complexities and joys of Black manhood.

BMI Staff
BMI Staff