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Tracee Ellis Ross was given ‘lady chores’ on ‘Black-ish’

Tracee Ellis Ross was given 'lady chores' on 'Black-ish'
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Actos including Anna Kendrick, Jessica Alba and Tracee Ellis Ross share their concerns about going back to work after lockdown. (May 29)

AP Entertainment

Tracee Ellis Ross isn’t afraid to stick up for her character.

In the Los Angeles Times “Can’t Stop Watching” podcast Tuesday, the “Black-ish” actress explained how she spoke up about her character Rainbow Johnson being saddled with “lady chores” on the show.

“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,’ ” she said. “ ‘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.”

She continued, “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.”

Ross said she’s “always been that person” to speak up in her career.

“Even before I was an actress, when I was working in fashion as a fashion editor and working in the magazine and editorial world, I was the same person. I speak up,” she said, adding that she asks herself “Is it effective for me to speak up now? Is this really the time? Is this the battle to push?”

She added that in addition to “Black-ish,” she also spoke up during her work in “Girlfriends” and “Lyricist Lounge.”

She said she “cannot help it” if something starts to “snag” her as wrong.

“You don’t wanna be around me, I gotta say it,” she said. “Thankfully or unthankfully, it just is what it is.”

More: ABC hid this political ‘Black-ish’ episode in 2018, but it’s even more powerful in 2020

More: Tracee Ellis Ross recalls ‘very special’ moment with mom Diana Ross while making ‘The High Note’

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