Tracee Ellis Ross Q&A: ‘Black-ish’
“It’s truly the most special way it could happen because it’s all of us. It feels really great to be able to share it with everybody,” says Tracee Ellis Ross about her ABC sitcom “Black-ish” being nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Comedy Series. In addition, Ross is nominated as Best Comedy Actress while her co-star Anthony Anderson earned a second consecutive bid for Best Comedy Actor. Watch our complete video chat with Ross above.
This is Ross’s first nomination, and it’s historic: she’s the first black actress nominated in her category since Phylicia Rashad (“The Cosby Show”) in 1986 – a huge 30-year gap. When Ellis first found out about that statistic she was shocked and called her publicist to ask, “‘How do you find out if something like that is true?’ And she was like, ‘Wikipedia!'” Now that she has had time to reflect on that statistic, it has added “a whole other layer to this experience.”
Ross adds, “I feel like it’s a really interesting convergence of race and gender because this category specifically has not [been as diverse as other acting races]. That’s fascinating to me. What is that about, and what does that say about the stories that we’ve been telling over the last 30 years?”
On “Black-ish” Ross plays Bow, a doctor raising four children with her husband (Anderson), an ad executive. Ross doesn’t feel the character is revolutionary, per se, but seeing a woman like her on television is. “It’s not that women of color are not being funny and being the leads of their own lives all over the world,” she explains. “It’s more that it’s not necessarily being reflected appropriately in a way that matches what’s actually happening.”
Now that Ross has been been recognized for her performance, she’s not the only one celebrating. Her mother, singer Diana Ross, recently took out a full-page ad in the Hollywood Reporter congratulating her on the achievement. “I did know it was going to happen, but it was still exciting nonetheless,” says Ross of the ad. “I have not yet seen the actual issue. It’s waiting for me at home … It feels like my high school yearbook times 100.”