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Tracee Ellis Ross was saddled with ‘lady chores’ on ‘black-ish.’ So she spoke out

Tracee Ellis Ross, paying homage to Beyoncé, in "black-ish."
(Byron Cohen / ABC)

“Can’t Stop Watching” is back. In the latest episode of The Times’ TV podcast, host and staff writer Yvonne Villarreal asks “black-ish” star Tracee Ellis Ross, an Emmy nominee for comedy actress, about concerns she might have had taking on the role of “sitcom wife” in ABC’s comedy:

What I did speak up about from the beginning was, “Why am I carrying laundry?” “Why am I the person in the kitchen cooking right now, when this has nothing to do with the scene?” Even sometimes when it does have something to do with the scene. And I started coining them as “lady chores.” “Why am I doing the lady chores?” “Can’t [co-star] Anthony [Anderson] do the lady chore?” Because I don’t believe they’re “lady chores.” I believe they’re house chores. And I don’t believe that we should assume, because I believe every relationship is a negotiation between two people about what each of them feel comfortable doing, and I think the more that we portray that on television, the more that that becomes the reality out in the world, or matches the reality that the world actually is.

Listen to the full episode to hear more of our conversation with Ross, including her thoughts on “Girlfriends,” her understanding of herself as a role model and the unexpected gift she sent Issa Rae to celebrate the “Insecure” star’s own Emmy nomination. Plus, check out interviews from earlier this season with nominees Uzo Aduba, Julia Garner and Brian Cox.

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