Sunday, February 11, 2007

Grammy night is MBP night!

Yes, the Grammy Awards are tonight, right here in L.A. I’m not big into the Grammys. I stopped keeping up with new music a dozen years ago.

But one thing has me excited: My absolute certainty that the media coverage will include at least one embarrassing MBP (Misidentified Black Person).

No public event so taxes the ability of photographers and photo editors to tell black people apart. This music-industry love fest has gotta be somebody’s worst nightmare. Oh crap… Which one’s Chamillionaire and which one’s Krayzie Bone?

The Los Angeles Times screwed the pooch at last year’s Grammys, and had to run the following correction:

“In some editions of Thursday’s Times, the caption on a front-page photograph of musicians performing a tribute to New Orleans at the Grammy Awards misidentified the singer on the far left as Allen Toussaint. Toussaint did perform in the finale, but the musician shown was Sam Moore” of Sam and Dave.

Here are my guesses for tonight’s most-likely-to-be-misidentified black people:

Jermaine Dupri


Maurice White

Ornette Coleman

Wyclef Jean

Prove me wrong, kids. Prove me wrong.

UPDATE (02/13/07): I’ll give credit where it’s due. The mainstream media did a great job telling all those black people apart at the Grammy Awards.

The only Misidentified Black Person I found in the aftermath was on MSN’s TV Filter blog. There, in the text of her review, blogger “Kim” misidentified Chris Brown (the singer) as T.I. (the rapper).

Here is Kim’s corrected paragraph:

“Other highlights: Chris Brown, who outshined both Smokey Robinson and Lionel Richie during their ‘three generations’ performance.”

She made the fix after “Adora” posted this comment:

“It was CHRIS BROWN who outshined Smokey Robinson and Lionel Richie in their ‘three generations’ performance. T.I. was the one who did the Rap-Sung with Justin Timberlake and the new singer chosen by voters.”

Kim commented back: “[T]hanks for the correx Adora, though I thought T.I. was good too.”

I tip my hat to Stephen J. Dubner at the Freakonomics blog. He linked to my original MBP post, and Adora posted a comment which pointed me to TV Filter’s mistake.


valsadie said...

Just read about you on the web site for Entertainment Weekly, at the Mothership Connection! I wrote about similar mistakes made when June Pointer died and also in the E! True Hollywood Story for Janet Jackson in a post on my blog last year, Who Knows (and Who *Doesn't* Know) the Pointer Sisters.

Undercover Black Man said...

Thanks for the comment, Valerie. Hate it when a dead person is misidentified... adds insult to injury.