Sterling K. Brown talks about the impact of TV shows on people. His show This Is Us is one such series that has a meaningful impact on people.
In an interview on the Daily Show, Sterling opens up with host Trevor Noah. He reveals that playing his character, Randall on-screen has opened up teachable moments. He is able to teach with his character when it comes to depicting similarities, differences, onscreen.
Trevor questioned Sterling if the writers deliberately write in a way that rises empathy amongst people. The host notes people are made to feel it isn’t their fault as opposed to the system being highlighted. Sterling responds that he hopes people do feel that way. He notes it is important to remember each character is a full human.
“Randall Pearson—just like his brother and sister and mother and father—is a human being first and foremost,” he said. He says he thinks so much of the power of media is that people learn through exposure. Whether it’s through travel, whether it’s through books, whether it’s through the representation of people they see on screen.
The actor also revealed that This Is Us has a wide demographic but 80 percent are white. He says there are opportunities for him to make conversations with people who might not talk to someone like him. The actor further adds that people might relate to him seeing him 18 times (a season).
He said, “they can say, like, ‘That dude Randall, he’s just like me. He loves his kids, he loves his wife. I understand part of his struggle even if I don’t understand the totality of it.’ So hopefully the next time they see me, or anybody who looks like me, they can lean in rather than step away.”
Sterling on Power of Representation
Sterling went on to explain the power of representation is what he had in his mind when he launched his production company. His company is named Indian Meadows, which was named after the predominantly Black neighborhood he grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. The actor said seeing him on television validates some people, their lives. He said he wants to tell stories that where people of color or in marginalized groups are front and center.
Sterling said, “Because when you see yourself you know that your story is as important as anybody else’s”. He said Kamala Harris appointed as Joe Biden’s vice president is also another big moment for representation. The ‘This Is Us‘ star says it is something to celebrate.
Showcasing the real stories of Black people of America is the aim of Sterling’s latest project. His project, 1milliontruths.com is a centralized place for Black people to share their experiences with racism. It is also for interested allies to see that these experiences are not just one-offs.
Sterling explains it is not something that happened in an isolated incident. He says these incidents keep happening over and over again all over the country. The actor explained, “Maybe by having one place where people can go and see, like, ‘Oh, life for Black people in this country is not the same as it is for me.’ Right? And then there’s a development of empathy and hopefully a wave of support that we can ride right now to make some real change to systemic racism in this country.”
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah airs Monday to Thursday at 12:05ET on CTV.