With the latest work on his resume being two consecutive network TV flame outs (the TV dramas Kevin Hill and Daybreak) one has to wonder just what Taye Diggs (pictured here with wifey Idina Menzel) needs to do to helm a hit that has traction with viewers. As a fan of both flame outs, I know the issue really wasn't about the shows themselves. Kevin Hill boasted a *tight* female cast (featuring Malone Zone fave Michael Michelle)...okay the rest of the cast was pretty strong too and the scripts were working - they even found a way to squeeze Meagan Goode's behind up in there (that chick's like a bad penny - always turnin' up...). And y'all already know my feelings about Daybreak, so apparently there seems to be something more going on with Taye and his shows. Interestingly back in December, Robyn McGee over on Blackprof.com provocatively posed the question: 'Do Black Women Hate Taye Diggs'?...
This much I know - TD had southside shortys eatin' out the palm of his hand after he debuted in '98 with Angela Bassett in 'How Stella Got Her Groove Back'. Eatin' out the palm, y'all!! From '98 to the year he got married to northside shorty Idina, TD's films (three of which starred Sanaa Lathan and had me thinking those two were going to hook up) made an average profit of $20 million (I know Sanaa had to account for most of that tho...). That's fat stack cheddar, y'all. Even after ol boy got married in January of 2003, Malibu's Most Wanted, which dropped in April of that year grossed $19 million. Following that, TD did mostly TV roles until his ill fated turn in Rent, the movie version of the Broadway hit (in which he also starred and met his future wife). That joint followed the Kevin Hill flame out and lost $11 million.
So let's assess. Clearly TD has a core audience that goes beyond southside shortys as I'm sure there are plenty of northside shortys who also get all weaked kneed when ol boy rolls up. I find it hard to believe that a single demographic could derail a career over the fact that TD hopped the broom with a northsider. Similar hook ups don't seem to be killing the careers of Seal, Tiger Woods, Tiki Barber (eastsider), yada, yada, yada. Heck, even OJ's a$$ got some love on his way to pariahville, y'all!
So what is it about TD? Sure the homeys (from all sides) player hate but that's understandable anytime a crop of shortys stand around and chirp about a homey, but the southside shortys? Love finds you where it finds you - ask Barack Obama's momma (or Tina Turner). Any other way of thinking is waaay too complicated. TD and his girl have a lot in common - both New Yorkers, both performing artists (ol girl's a powerhouse and won a Best Actress Tony for her role as Elphaba in the Broadway version of Wicked and sang a duet with Ray Charles on his Genius and Friends CD), both the same age - born in '71. Seems a fairly good basis to kick it with all else being equal. Don't we have bigger things to worry about these days? Where we livin' that those two have to put up with death threats just for kickin' it? Folks need to chill that noise.
At any rate, I have to give it up to TD for doing his thing - consequences be damned. It's even more ironic knowing ol boy married his girl at the same Jamaican resort where 'Stella' was filmed. Wonder what Stella and her girl Delilah would have thought about that? I can hear Delilah now, 'Now ain't this about a bit#h! Stel, would you look at that sh#t!'. Like I said - folks just need to chill that noise. Erase the hate and increase the peace, y'all. Even for Taye's short, little a$$... :-)