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Black White

Black White

Black. White. examines race with an extraordinary approach by putting new faces on the Sparks family, an African-American family, and the Wurgel family, a Caucasian family. Through the transformative power of make-up, the Wurgel family (Carmen Wurgel, her daughter Rose Bloomfield, and Carmen’s longtime boyfriend Bruno Marcotulli) become black, and the Sparks family (Brian, Renee and Nick) become white. The two families shared a home in Tarzana, California for the duration of the six-week production, which wrapped last summer. Cameras followed each family member as they went about their daily routines throughout Southern California.

Did anyone else catch the premiere of Black. White. last week?  Well, if you didn’t, maybe these statistics will convince you to check it out — the ratings of the premiere of Black. White. outperformed the finale of Project Runway.  4.0 million to 3.8 million.  It’s the second-best premiere ever for an unscripted series on cable only behind 2002′s debut of The Anna Nicole Show.  Catch the second episode of the six-part documentary series Black. White. tomorrow on FX at 10PM E/P.  Many more pictures in the gallery!

The Wurgel family (a Caucasian family, pictured immediately above)
swaps races with the Sparks family (an African-American family,
 pictured up top) on FX’s new series Black. White.
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Posted to: Black. White.

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  • Kellie

    what family really looks black, but the black family doesn’t really look white…

  • Kellie

    What I meant to say was…WHITE family looks black…but the black family doesn’t really look white…

  • lookwhaticando

    I agree, the show was pretty good, but the White family did look black, But the Black family did not look at all white,, The White girl looked very cute as a black girl, and she was really cool

  • Theory

    I agree with you all above and here is my theory:Black people who traditionally have "European" features are still considered White in society. So it is common to see this.However, white people who have traditional "Black" features are considered Black in some way. Most White people are considered White because they meet the "required White standard" of straight nose, light skin and blue eyes. Once they stray physicaly from this, society considers them an "other".

  • Theory

    This is why I think the Black family painted as White looks odd to most – it looks odd to me too. Interesting to ask myself why?

  • Janelle

    The Black family painted White looks Hispanic in my opinion

  • Cristina Castillo

    I thought the show was fantastic. And the white daughter seemed to be very smart, with a great head on her shoulders. Her dad could have learned a lesson or two from her.

  • Cubanita

    The white girl ought to just stay black. She looks a lot better.l

  • Princess

    I agree. the White girl looks GORGOUES Black whereas as a White girl she is average.I guess Black really can make you beautiful. I want to be Black now!!!!!

  • Katie

    In response to "Theory" in post #4…that is one of the most racist and ignorant things I have ever heard. You said, "Black people who traditionally have "European" features are still considered White in society. So it is common to see this. However, white people who have traditional "Black" features are considered Black in some way." You have no clue what you are talking about. First of all, what are "White" and "Black" features??? Secondly, white people are not considered to be AFRICAN-AMERICAN (the correct word as opposed to "black") because they have certain features. The same is said for African-American people, who are NOT considered "White" because they have "White features." Ask any "White" or African-American person, and I bet none of them will ever tell you that because of specific features they have, whatever they may be, that they consider themselves to be of the opposite race. I think you meant to say that there is a standard of beauty in America (that I completely disagree with) that says if you have lighter skin, light eyes, and relaxed hair, you are considered to be more attractive as an African-American…ie Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell. This is a horrible phenomenom among people of all cultures in our society that cannot be overcome with people like you posting such ignorant statements.

  • pinky

    well some people like to be called black, others african american there is no way of saying it without someone getting offended…The black family that turned white look different because of the bone structure and the nose is thicker. The white lady who turned black (to me)looks much older as a black lady, and the girl looks really pretty as a black girl whereas just blah as a white girl.

  • Zetaprime

    I agree with the comments saying that the black woman made white just don’t look right. As herself I think she’s beautiful, but with the white makeup she looks more like an albino black woman. The black teen comes out convincingly white, His father not so much, but he looks good anyway. The whole white family looks better as black. I’ve always gone with the 60′s motto "Black is Beautiful" (even if it really goes back to Marcus Garvey)

  • Just JP

    I wonder why "princess" thinks its ok to call white people "white", but not ok to call black people "black". How is one color ok but the other is not.? And btw, I find the term "African-American" extremely offensive as a description of race.

  • pam

    The show in general pissed me off. Plus, The makeup for both families was aweful. I honestly don’t think that dawning white or black makeup and putting yourself out into the world like the show had done with the families was a good representation of how it is to be either of the races. Its reallya fairly weak attempt at stepping into each others shoes. I think both the sides of "white" and "black" adults were very prejudicial of each other. It seems to me that it was the kids in the this project that had a better mindset of openness and acceptance of each other than any of their parents, which could be attributed to a generational difference.

  • sam

    Naomi campbbll is not light skinned.By the way…this show sucks.

  • sam

    and also…they look really silly…..the black family doesn’t look white…they look like freaks with makeup on

  • Kellie

    I was the first post and started using the "black & white" terms. I live in Detroit and I’m "Mexican-American". I live around, work with and am friends with lots of "African-Americans" and I’ll tell ya…most don’t really like that term. It just smacks you in the face. They prefer to be called "black". And I agree with "JustJP" from above. Why call "white" people white? Double standard! I just say I’m Mexican…it’s where my family is originaly from. But that’s only if someone asks…I don’t do all this whatever-American…this "P-C" crap is getting way out of hand. No one is calling anyone bad names here…get a grip. And I do agree with another post that this show was a stupid test. We already know that blacks get treated differently…WHICH NEEDS TO STOP NOW!!!!!!!!! And I’m happy to say that from my generation down it seems that it will!!!!! My mom taught me not to judge a person by their skin color and my son doesn’t know that you even should! He’s just now learning in school that there was a time that people did…and he’s PISSED ina HUGE WAY!!!!! So, let’s keep up the good work and raise our children to be different and this whole race issue will die out soon…

  • Allen

    The show was crap. The only person that might actually learn something from it is the daughter. The white father is just an idiot. How many times did he sit there and say.. "i can’t wait for someone to call me nigger… i’ll just respond.." And the black father.. IMO was Looking for racism in just about everything… I am not saying he did not find it at the bar.. but jeez. They could all take a lesson from the daughter.And about that.. what do you bet she is found out in that group… that she was so worried about them possibly knowing the truth. She will start to form friends, etc… and I bet the producers step in (behind the scenes, of course) and let it slip that she is not what she claims..

  • Shirina

    Hmm.. I’m European.. and even happen to be from an area that is 98% caucasian.. and i thought that the black family didn’t look odd at all… the white family that was painted black looked plain ridiculous, except the daughter. Perhaps I haven’t seen enough black people in real life, but this is what I thought about those pictures. Other ridiculous thing is that just by painting someone you could change their cultural identity.. And anyways that show sounded very racist in my opinion.

  • I liked the show

    I loved the show. It did bother me that the black Family’s make up wasnt done right. Some Black people do have "black" features and you cant hide those under make up. It really pissed me off how the Black father was looking for racism, he almost looked happy when they guy at the bar said racist things. The white dad was a bit excited to hear the word "niger" but I think its because he just want to show everyone that it is what you make it. The kids I liked, it just shows that racism is not as bad as it used to be because the youth doesnt see it as the parents do. Im Salvadorian but was born here and people still assume I was born from another country and had to work hard to learn english. If it comes from an older person I dont really sweat it because they are the ignorant ones. If a young person were to say that to me, then Id be worried.

  • Jules

    From a European perspective, the white parents (in their everyday attire) looked and acted like a bunch of alien freaks. Is this the way that the majority of American middle class white parents is like? If so, my oh my. Loved the Sparks family though, found myself nodding to most of the stuff they were saying, while the Wurgels were really embarrassing to watch. Luckily, their daughter does not seem to take after either of them.

  • TO #13!

    #13: African-American is a term identifying an ethnic group just like Italian-American, Irish-American. Since most blacks did not know exactly where they came from due to slavery: they decided to adopt the term jsut like Russian-Americans or Mexican-Americans, etc.However racially they are Black as racially most Russian-Americans or Irish-Americans are White.Why is it that you are unable to comprehend this simple distinction? Wow

  • A Note to Katie #10

    #10 katie: I think you completely misunderstood what I was saying . I may have not been that articulate either becaue it is a theory I find is hard to explain.I will try again:Let’s take Halle Berry, for example. Hollywood casts her as a Black actress most of the time. now she has what we traditionally in society consider "European" features (straight nose, etc – I did not make these rules). Yet, no one has tried to pass her off as the White wife of a White man in a White movie, right?If she is both White and Black (mother White and father Black) why can’t she be both?Because society doesn’t allow this to happen. Black people no matter how light skinned are considered Black. it is that old law called the one drop rule which during slavery and even after claimed that anyone with 1 drop of Black blood was considered Black.Yet to be qualified as a White person, you have to meet all the rigid standards of being White. So given all this old and embedded race ideals, when we see a "Black" person that looks like, Halle Berry, Vanessa Williams, Prince etc – they are still Black to us- We are used to seeing Blacks with an infinite number of "White" features and they are still, in society, treated as Blacks only. That is why the White family painted as Black was not as jarring.That is what I am saying. Boy, people love to quickly judge others as racist. Take a moment and process what I said. Even if you don’t admit it on this post, realize that my point is a valid one.

  • vipor

    #9 Princess, I was just reading through these and could not get over your angry response. You seem to have some pent up hostilities going on that seem to run deeper than just a blog about a television show. A simple fact. Black people have distinctive features. Period. It’s a fact get over it. Just as other races of people have distinctive features. I don’t see the point in getting upset because someone points it out. That’s the problem with the younger generation of blacks today, being so caught up in silly little things like someone calling you "Black" rather than "African American”. Do you hear the majority of white people running around in a tizzy about being called white? No. Should we run around calling people Norwegian Americans? How about English Americans? Polish Americans? Give me a break! Worry about going to school. Worry about supporting your family, worry about being a good person, worry about teaching your children right from wrong, worry about being closer to god, worry about the hundreds of soldiers dying in Iraq, get involved in your community, get involved in your government, and make a difference in life, in a positive way. Stop being so damn angry all the time. Or better yet get angry about things that really matter. I will get off my soap box now and get back to reading for entertainment. BTW I am black, just so you know so you will have to respond from a different angle other than calling me racist. Perhaps you will just label me “Sell out” as is common in cases like this.