Talk It Out
America get ready for a new point of view. TV One's new series Black Men Revealed is an unscripted (and unpredictable) roundtable discussion among four brothers about anything and everything. We spoke with host and comedian David A. Arnold to find out what all the talk was about.
KING-MAG.com: Originally, how did the show come about?
David A. Arnold: Me and Greg Shelton, a friend of mine from the Jamie Foxx camp, got to know each other while I performed at certain venues. I heard about the show that he was doing and called for an opportunity to read for the show. I went in, sat with the producers, and did a 3 hour audition or dry run of a mock show. They all gave me great feedback.
Okay, but real talk, what makes this different from other male-focused talk shows? You know, the formula hasn't exactly been a runaway success.
We're not calling it a talk show as much as we're calling it a talkish show. We're not sitting down and acknowledging the camera going "welcome my name isâ€ and "with me today isâ€ â€“ we're not doing that. Every week I'm sitting with four of my different brothers from four very different walks of life. We're just at my house, chillin', playing some dominos, and the cameras just happen to be catching some of the conversation. Boys all over the country get together, without their girls, and just talk. We've recreated that moment. It's not people on the show because they have a movie to plug or a book to sell. It's really people here to talk about issues; and that's totally different from a talk show where guests are promoting something.
With this forum, the topics are obviously targeting an audience that's neglected by the mainstream mediaâ€¦
The topics that we chose were what we thought were the hottest among black folks, but I also believe that some of the topics cross color lines. Why Men cheat? It's not just black men who cheat. Some things are just man things â€“ and I'm not saying that cheating is a man thing but it crosses all barriers. There were so many topics that we want to do, so we are just trying to find our rhythm. And we do more, we will tackle bigger subjects that we feel aren't being address in mainstream society. The mainstream society won't talk about the myths of Black Men â€“ that's something we need to talk about amongst ourselves. We also have an episode called "Turn-Ons and Turn-Offs: From Head to Toeâ€ where men talk about what turns them on and turns them off about women.
Wait, doesn't that violate the man-law?! There's a reason why we have these talks when the women aren't around.
[Laughs] I'm sure there will be some things that are said that some men will say, "I can't believe this brother just said that.â€ I'm sure there are times where the man-law was not completely violated, thrown out the window and stepped on [Laughs]. Yeah, there are some people who might think some codes are being broken, but there's a lot of men out there who don't care about it. Some men are tired of men who cheat making the men who don't cheat look bad.
In theory, how important is this show for black men. You know, a lot of people out there think we're not good at talking, that we'd rather take it outside.
Communication is the key to everything. The more we talk about issues, the more we break barriers. We are all not as stereotypical as the public makes us out to be. We find out we're not as different as we once thought we were. We are hoping to change things and be able to talk about everything.
Finally...We already know women will be tuning in, trying to find out more about us, but why should men tune in, seeing as this is actually a reflection of what they do on a daily basis with their own group.
TV One is about to present a show that is the epitome of keeping it real. It's going to attract the attentions of females especially, but I hope it attracts the attention of the men. We hope to bring a light to the people who need to be spoken to and heard from. And it's funny. That's why they have me â€“ if it gets to heavy, I can still make people laugh. - Mike Brown
Black Men Revealed airs every Sunday on TV One 10-11 PM ET. Check your local listings.