Snoop Dogg’s and Martha Stewart’s New Show Is A Little Problematic
A couple of months ago I heard some murmurings about Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart teaming up for a daytime talk show. Knowing Stewart’s brand, I figured it would somehow revolve around food. But, when I began thinking about the possible ways Snoop could contribute to that show, I shuddered.
Why? Well, because, historically, when Black men and white women team up for entertainment ventures, it often results in people laughing with the white woman and at the Black man. But, those Black men, so impressed with themselves for having the platform, taking up the space, and making a name for themselves in a new, highly lucrative market, often ignore the implications of these opportunities.
Sadly, Martha and Snoop have been doing precisely what I suspected.
I randomly tuned into the show on a sick day recently only to find that Snoop was the comedy portion of the show, often using his signature “izzle my nizzle” style of African American vernacular to encourage the audience to laugh at his version of blackness. He frequently joked about being “hood” and smoking weed as the audience busted up with laughter. They weren’t actually waiting for punchlines. They were just laughing because Snoop was speaking and being Black simultaneously.
One thing that stuck out to me (that is obvious in the clip), is the overwhelming presence of Black masculinity juxtaposed against white femininity. The relationship between Martha and Snoop probably evokes such laughter from their predominantly white audience because it is a deviation from the age-old belief that Black men are predatory, over-sexualized beings whose primary attractions are for white women. Instead, Snoop plays the gentle simpleton, with clearly less skill than Martha, performing for his white onlookers and bringing along his Black friends wielding gold herringbone chains and grill pieces.
Apparently, the infatuation with the duo started in 2008 when Snoop appeared on Martha’s show to make mashed potatoes where Snoop said things like “skizin” and talked about “the ghetto.”
While some outlets have referred to Martha’s and Snoop’s relationship as “adorable,” I just didn’t get that vibe from the video. Martha constantly referenced Snoop like some sort of artifact, asking him about his “vocabulary” and being the normal to his odd ball performance. To be clear: Snoop talking the way he talks and being a bold Black man isn’t the problem. But, him doing it specifically to indulge implicitly racist white people as the comic juxtaposition to the quintessential Suzy Homemaker is.
So, nawl. I won’t be watching the show again nor will I be supportive of those entertainers who show up on shows like it. Martha’s and Snoop’s pairing just looks like another way that we participate in our own oppression with enterprising white people always there, waiting in the ranks, to monetize it.
Therefore, I’ll be opting out.
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