The daughter of Diana Ross is set to star in a new comedy on ABC called black-ish, which premieres on Wednesday, September 24 at 9:30 PM. Tracee Ellis Ross, daughter of the legendary diva and her first husband, music producer Robert Ellis Silberstein, plays the biracial mother of an African-American family coming to terms with its affluence.
The show’s lead is played by Anthony Anderson, who lends humor to the character of Andre, a hardworking employee of an advertising agency. When Andre is promoted to the position of vice president of “urban” marketing, he wonders if he was given the post just because he was black. Ross’s character of what the Los Angeles Register calls “semi-exasperated wife” tells him to stop worrying, and when she’s told that she doesn’t understand his predicament because she’s half white, she shoots back, “If I’m not, uh, really black, can someone please tell my hair and my ass?”
Ross apparently relates well to her character of Rainbow Johnson. “Although I am not a mother and a wife, I am a mixed woman and I do understand these feelings she’s going through. The show’s not about being fresh. It’s about telling the truth. And I think that comes across in the lines,” she said.
The 41-year-old actress had previously worked with black-ish creator Kenya Barris on Girlfriends, and he reportedly wrote her parts with the knowledge of Ross’s speech rhythms in mind. Executive producer Larry Wilmore believes that a good cast is what will make the show successful. “Anthony is very gifted and he has known Tracee for years. She is so natural and lovable. When she read [for the part], we all said, ‘Why should we even look at anybody else?’” Wilmore said.
Ross claims that her penchant for comedy came from her father, and not her singing mother. “I got it from my father because he’s a Jew from Jersey,” she said.
— ABC 22/FOX 45 Dayton (@ABC22FOX45) September 18, 2014