BLACK VOICES
03/28/2017 11:40 am ET

Anthony Anderson Says Racial Issues In 'Black-Ish' Are Based On His Real Life

"They’re stories that we all ... have dealt with. You’re just getting it from the Johnson family perspective."

The Johnson family in the hit sitcom “Black-ish” may be fictional, but to Anthony Anderson, the show’s storyline is far from contrived.

In an AOL Build interview on Friday, the show’s executive producer told host Ricky Camilleri that “Black-ish” is based on experiences from his and creator Kenya Barris’ real lives as first-generation affluent black fathers. Anderson said the authenticity of the show is why it resonates with so many audiences, regardless of race.

“We don’t allow anyone to dictate us, the stories that we tell or whatnot,” he said. “We just tell the stories that we want to tell, the stories that we feel affect us individually and as a community at large.” 

Anderson noted that though the writers touch on topical issues at times ― like police brutality in the “Hope” episode or the election in the “Lemon” episode ― their goal isn’t to be timely, but to explore the issues that affect them personally. 

“We just are authentic to who we are and to the stories that we tell and we just pull these things from our lives,” he said. “We don’t hide the fact that the family doesn’t happen to be black. This is a beautiful black family and we tell these stories from their perspective. But they’re stories that we all in this room, from every walk of life, have dealt with. You’re just getting it from the Johnson family perspective, but you get it, like, ‘Yo, I went through the same thing. I’m going through the same thing.’”

 Watch Anderson’s entire AOL Build interview in the video above. 

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