W. Kamau Bell talks to Appalachian families, Muslim Americans and Chicago gang members on ‘United Shades of America.’
“The whole idea is that I’m getting out of my comfort zone,” W. Kamau Bell told The Hollywood Reporter during the Reality TV Roundtable in regards to his hit CNN series, United Shades of America.
Right now, and in the last couple years, the country feels hectic, the country feels divided, and the country is sort of splitting apart at the seams, and so I feel like what’s happening is people who like the show like to see somebody going around to actually go into those seams and see what’s going on.”
Bell gets pushback on who he talks to on Shades. “‘Platform” or ‘normalization’ are two of people’s favorite words right now,” he said. “The idea of turning over a platform to me is ridiculous. I’m engaging with the people.”
More roundtables featuring comedy and drama actresses, actors, showrunners and reality creators will continue through July in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter starting May 25 on Sundance TV, and look for clips at THR.com/topic/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.