NBC's racial fail

The network celebrates Black History Month with culinary stereotypes

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published February 5, 2010 12:06PM (EST)

NBC apparently didn't get the memo that January was "America Laughs at Your Network's Cluelessness" month. Here it is February, and they're still bringing the idiocy.

As The Roots's Questlove (whose gig in Jimmy Fallon's house band puts him in the belly of the 30 Rock beast) recently pointed out, the Peacock is observing African-American achievement with epicurean flair. Check out the NBC menu "In honor of Black History Month" he posted on TwitPic, featuring fried chicken, collard greens and black-eyed peas. Ooh, and what time does the salute to tap dancing start?

Providentially, the always entertaining Wanda Sykes was on "Leno" last night, and used her position from the chair to call attention to the network's culinary faux pas.

"That's how they celebrate: Y'all don't need to know about Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Here's some fried chicken," she deadpanned, musing, "What is happening at NBC? Is the whole damn network on medical marijuana?" At least, as Sykes pointed out, they sensitively neglected to include watermelon on the menu.

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

MORE FROM Mary Elizabeth Williams

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Nbc Race Television