Yvette Nicole Brown: Exposing Ken Jennings’ Ableist Tweets an Example of ‘Good Trouble’

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Kristen Lopez
·2 min read
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As part of the promotional rounds for her role in the upcoming Disney+ series “Big Shot,” Yvette Nicole Brown talked about how she uses her Twitter feed to call out injustice and support important causes. “I always feel if you’re given a platform, whatever it is, you’re supposed to use it for good,” Brown said. “I believe like John Lewis says, ‘Get into some good trouble.'”

In November of last year she drew attention to a series of troubling and ableist tweets sent out by “Jeopardy” guest host, Ken Jennings. “If I see someone acting up, and they’re not treating people with the respect they deserve or they’re being flippant about someone’s journey through this life, I’m putting the gloves on and I’m jumping in!” Brown said. (Jennings later apologized.)

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In “Big Shot,” Brown plays Principal Sherilyn Thomas, the boss to a private school’s women’s basketball coach, Marvy Korn, played by John Stamos. For Brown, she was amazed to be surrounded by a talented group of young women just beginning in the industry. “As you get older you start to feel like ‘I got it. I know what this industry is,” Brown said. “And then you run into a group of young people just beginning their quest in life and you get to see it all through their eyes.” Brown said working opposite the cast let her see the sense of wonder that many veteran performers tend to lose.

As Korn is a former NCAA basketball coach seeking redemption by coaching the group of private school girls, and Stamos said he had to find a new way in towards playing an unlikeable character.

“I’ve never played that,” he told IndieWire. “And I really had to shed a lot of my old tricks that I used to get by on television.” He even went so far as to tell series’ director Bill D’Elia to stop him if it felt like the old Stamos was popping up. For Stamos, playing a character who does have his own method of doing things forced the actor to emphasize his listening. He’s a character that’s learning, according to Stamos.

“It was the first time in many, many years that I just trusted the writing. I just let go,” Stamos said.

“Big Shot” will stream on on Disney+ starting April 16.

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