Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rose respond’s to Harvey’s criticism of “The Quad,” reminds him about role of arts in society

On February 1 “The Quad,” a new dramatic series directed and executive produced by Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus Rob Hardy, debuted on Black Entertainment Television (BET). The show features Hardy’s friend Anika Noni Rose, who is also a FAMU graduate, in the starring role as president of the fictitious Georgia A&M University in Atlanta.

The critically-acclaimed production has already picked up positive reviews from the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

But Hampton University President William Harvey isn’t a fan of the new program. He recently blasted the show in an open letter to BET Chair and CEO Debra Lee. 

“Devoid of any reference to academics, ‘The Quad’ is about a president who is promiscuous, trustees who are unwilling to deal with a rogue band director, and a band director who condones criminal activity on the part of his drum major,” Harvey wrote. “This depiction seems more analogous to a disgruntled, adolescent and unrealistic point of view that some may have. It also feeds a false narrative about the irrelevance of HBCUs.”

Rose responded in an interview with Ebony magazine. She reminded Harvey and other critics that the arts often depict sides of life that might make people uncomfortable.

“If we’re going to show humanity and human behavior, we cannot only show the glossy parts,” Rose said. “We cannot only show the PhD, full family, living on a hill with a fence. We can’t only show that because that’s not all of reality, that’s not all of humanity, and it’s dishonest to show that one side.”

Rose also told Ebony that: “It’s really important to be clear that we are showing human life. Women do run institutions, women do have sex, hazing does happen at schools—all schools, not just HBCUs—people do affairs, it happens. It’s unfortunate, but it happens.”

Read the full article by Ebony here.

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