If You Want to Be the Boss, Be the Damn Boss
I don't understand why it's so hard for people to keep their hands to their fucking selves. Why must people, especially men, continue to violate the personal space of others? It's not difficult. It's a simple concept; keep your hands to yourself. In the era of #MeToo, I cannot fathom why anyone, especially a celebrity, are continuing to do stupid shit like sexually harass women in the workplace. How dumb can you be? As dumb as Jason Mitchell apparently...
Jason Mitchell, a black actor best known for his role as Eazy-E in the 2015 biopic, Straight Outta Compton, was accused of sexually harassing and borderline assaulting women on the set of the hit Showtime show, The Chi. Shortly before the announcement of these "misconduct allegations", he was dropped by his management, released from The Chi, and fired from all of his upcoming roles before they could even begin production. Another dumb ass, doing dumb ass shit? Not surprising. What was surprising was a subsequent interview with The Chi's second season showrunner, Ayanna Floyd, where she stated that "everyone was well aware" of how much of a piece of shit this man really was.
So what did they do? Nothing. They allowed him to continue to work, even though he had harassed one actress to the point where she asked to be released from the series. Do you know how bad something has to be for a woman to willingly decide to lose a check on a successful ass show like The Chi? The fact that this woman had to bring her boyfriend with her to work because she felt unsafe should tell you all that you need to know. (I'm still not sure how her boyfriend allowed Jason to leave the set with his face intact, but that's neither here nor there).
The most disappointing part of the entire scenario is that it appears that Lena Waithe, creator and producer of The Chi, knew about the misconduct allegations and decided to place a female showrunner on set in an effort to take control of the situation. I'm sure you can imagine how that turned out. If you guessed that he would harass her to the point of her filing an HR complaint, you would be correct.
For the life of me, I can't understand Lena's logic. Why place another woman in harm's way? You knew he was a piece of trash so why would you give him an another opportunity? He should have been fired effective immediately. You could've pulled a Black Aunt Viv and replaced him with another actor until you could find a way to write off his character. If you were a real bad bitch, you could've went the Shonda Rhimes Columbus Short-Isaiah Washington route. We, the audience, would not have given a damn.
At the end of the day, Lena owes all of us, especially Tiffany, Ayanna, and any other woman harassed on that set, an explanation. And I'm talking about something more than the defensive ass excuses she offered to Charlemagne at the Breakfast Club. You are a member of Time's Up, and this shit is completely against every major tenant of that organization. So what had happened?
I understand that Lena doesn't have much to do with the day-to-day operations of the show, but I do know that she had the ability to nip this shit in the bud a long time ago. Instead of calling for the immediate termination of this man, HR sent this man to a harassment training and hoped for the best. Excuse me? Do you know how easy it is to just skip through a powerpoint slide and summary test without learning a damn thing?
We, as black women, have to stand up for each other because it's clear that no one else will. We cannot be on the side of the abusers. Even if we must be a bitch and rock the boat, we must continue to check the behavior of men like Jason Mitchell. We cannot protect them by ignoring them and hoping that either someone else will take care of it or that it will get better. I'm sorry; it doesn't work like that. Put your fucking foot down. Tell folks what will happen if they can't keep their hands to themselves, and fucking mean it when you say it. You wanted to be the boss, be the fucking boss.