FX confronts racism by changing black and white families’ races with makeup

A black family from Atlanta and a white family from southern California both changed their skin color with makeup and then lived together for six weeks for a new reality series.

FX will air the results as Black, White, a six-episode series that debuts in March.

The show is produced by American Candidate and American High producer RJ Cutler and Ice Cube. “Racism is prevalent, and white America and black America are two different places. The only way they’re really going to become one is if white people can find a way to see the world through the eyes of black people and vice versa,” Cutler told the New York Daily News.

He said that producers “spent the better part of a year … designing the makeup, which has the unprecedented bar of needing to succeed not only under the scrutiny of the cameras but to succeed under the scrutiny of another human being who would be standing 3 feet away from you.”

Responding to potential criticism about putting white people in blackface and black people in whiteface, Cutler says, “The fact that people are made up is not inherently problematic. … Young, old, male, female, the concept of living in someone else’s skin, there are many possibilities. I think anybody who’s interested in entertaining and engaging and dramatic television is going to watch this. This is dramatic storytelling, and at the center of it are big, fat, important issues.”

Trading faces: A twist on race [New York Daily News]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.