In a new interview on the L.A. Times podcast Can’t Stop Watching, the award-winning actress explained how she pushed back against Rainbow’s performance of “lady chores” throughout the series. She explains that she did so in an effort to shift the dynamic of how the audience views housework and the gender roles assigned to them.
“What I did speak up about from the beginning was, ‘Why am I carrying laundry?’ ‘Why am I the person in the kitchen cooking right now, when this has nothing to do with the scene?’ Even sometimes when it does have something to do with the scene,” she told the show. “And I started coining them as ‘lady chores.’ ‘Why am I doing the lady chores?’ ‘Can’t Anthony [Anderson] do the lady chore?’”
Tracee went on to explain that housework should not be gendered, contrary to the typical role of a wife on your average sitcom.
“I don’t believe they’re ‘lady chores.’ I believe they’re house chores,” she added. “And I don’t believe that we should assume, because I believe every relationship is a negotiation between two people about what each of them feel comfortable doing, and I think the more that we portray that on television, the more that that becomes the reality out in the world, or matches the reality that the world actually is.”
Those tiny details most people probably don’t even notice is just one of the reasons Black-ish stands out among other sitcoms. Tracee Ellis Ross is nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Dr. Rainbow Johnson, so it’s good to see that her hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.