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Black-ish spinoff news sparks mixed reactions

BLACK-ISH SPINOFF: Mixed-ish will focus on a young version of Tracee Ellis Ross' character, Bow

LAST WEEK ABC confirmed a new Black-ish spinoff, Mixed-ish which will focus on Bow’s childhood during the 80s.

The show’s announcement comes after two seasons of Black-ish’s first spinoff, Grown-ish, which follows the story of Zoey (Yara Shahidi) as she leaves the Johnson family home and goes to college.

Mixed-ish will chart Bow’s experience of growing up in a mixed-race family in the 80s. It will explore issues around identity, assimilation and staying true to oneself.

In the series, young Bow will be played by Arica Himmel. Tracee Ellis Ross will narrate the show.

While overall fans appear happy with the expansion of the hit series, there are mixed reviews about everything from the show’s title to the casting choices and its focus.

“#Mixedish? This team is notoriously bad with names. They had some ridiculous name for the college spinoff until Black Twitter told them it should be called #Grownish. Let’s see if this one gets fixed,” one critic wrote on Twitter.

“#Blackish literally gave us one episode, in Season 5, surrounding Diane's issues with colorism. #Mixedish is going to give us an entire show based on Bow's struggles with it,” one viewer wrote.

Others felt the entire premise of the show was unnecessary, citing that Black-ish already encompassed the experiences the new spinoff aims to showcase.

One commenter, who sought to explain some of the negative responses to the show, said: "We’re against it because mixed people are black. Any racial barriers or obstacles a mixed person face is a result of them being part black. Furthermore, mixed people promote this notion within the black community that they are better.

"The whole idea of the show Mixed-ish is redundant. Black-ish implies black to some degree. Like for example “the car isn’t all yellow, it has a red-ish tint to it” therefore Black-ish encompasses us all."

The casting of Tika Sumpter as Bow’s mother has also attracted criticism.

Some viewers have argued the casting doesn’t make sense because Bow’s mother in Black-ish was a light-skinned black woman, whereas Sumpter is dark-skinned.

“Tika Sumpter doesn't look anything like Anna Deavere Smith, who plays the older version of Bow's mother on Blackish,”

“In Black-ish I think Bow's mom said she was mixed herself. So, while I like Tika Sumpter & adore her repping for us dark skinned girls, I don't think she was the right choice for the role based on what we've seen & know of Bow's mother. #mixedish #blackish”

According to reports, the production team has already changed its mind about one of the members of the Mixed-ish cast.

Anders Holm had been set to play Bow’s dad, but his role is being recast, according to The Hollywood Reporter after producers made the decision to move in a different direction.

While the news of the show has prompted many critical comments, viewers have expressed their excitement too.

One tweeted: “I watch #Blackish, I watch #Grownish, and Ima check out #MixedIsh because I be damn if I complain about lack of quality black shows on tv and then allow the ratings to drop in the few we DO have! If the shows sucked I wouldn’t watch just because we black but I actually LOVE them!”

“I see Mixed-Ish is getting tons of backlash. The name is wack, but I’m interested in the stories and experience of the characters, which could be an eye opener if it’s authentic and folks are open to understanding a different POV of the black experience,” another commenter said.

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