Just in time for some April foolery is this weekend’s release of “The Purge” parody from writer/director Deon Taylor called “Meet the Blacks.” The farce stars Mike Epps and a cast of comedy and pop culture icons including Mike Tyson, Charlie Murphy, George Lopez, DeRay Davis, Lavell Crawford, Paul Mooney, Snoop Dogg, Perez Hilton, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle and Gary Owen.
“[Deon] just let us go,” Owen said of the experience. “We’d always do a take according to the script, but he let me do my thing. I’m always trying to break into the house. I’m like Tom Hanks in ‘Castaway.’ Up until the last scene, I was by myself the whole time. I thought I did something to somebody.”
Though the comic has been working steadily in films like “Ride Along” and the “Think Like a Man” series, Owen thinks there’s still a really long way to go with diversity in the industry.
“For instance, this pilot season, I went on probably 11 auditions and there wasn’t a black person in the room,” he said. “TV is a few years behind society.”
He longs for real interracial sitcoms where the husband and wife are just doing it like a Ray Romano or Roseanne type show. Not with some external drama that doesn’t need to be in there and without trying to bring up race every other word.
“I’m married to a black lady and we got our kid,” Owen said. “From what I can see in the room, [TV execs] just don’t know. There’s a reason there are so many Jewish characters on TV and so many shows based out of L.A. or New York. All the execs are comfortable with that. I don’t hold it against them, but they’re behind.”
Owen may have the answer as he revealed that BET came to Cincinnati to follow his life for a docu-series pilot. “It’s time,” he said, “because if you look at the news, at the Donald Trump rallies, you’d think America is about to be in a race war. We’re not. It’s so far from the truth. People aren’t like that. I mean some are, don’t get it wrong, and media wants to jump on that. With the majority of society, it’s never about race. It’s about class. You know what I mean?”
“You got tattoos on your neck and face and your pants are sagging, I don’t care if you’re white or black, I’m not going to run up on you and just ask for directions. Now if you‘re in a polo shirt and some khakis or a suit, black or white, I’m going to approach you and ask how do I get to Starbucks.”