The powerful reason Tracee Ellis Ross refused to do gendered chores on 'Black-ish'

·2 min read

Tracee Ellis Ross has always had her "Black-ish" character's back.

In a new interview, the 47-year-old actress discussed the concerns she had in the early days of signing up to play a "sitcom wife" on the hit ABC show.

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"What I did speak up about from the beginning was, 'Why am I carrying laundry? Why am I the person in the kitchen cooking right now, when this has nothing to do with the scene?' Even sometimes when it does have something to do with the scene," Ross recently told the LA Times' "Can't Stop Watching" podcast.

The "Girlfriends" alum referred to the phenomenon as "lady chores," and started asking why she was given these directions, while her male co-star, Anthony Anderson, was not.

"I don't believe they're 'lady chores,'" explained Ross, who plays Rainbow "Bow" Johnson, a successful anesthesiologist. "I believe they're house chores."

The Golden Globe winner explained that it's her belief we shouldn't assume who would do these duties around the home, because "every relationship is a negotiation between two people about what each of them feels comfortable doing."

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"The more we portray that on television," she added, "the more that that becomes the reality out in the world, or matches the reality that the world actually is."

Ross and Anderson -- who plays Bow's husband, advertising exec Andre "Dre" Johnson -- are both nominated for Emmys for their "Black-ish" roles this year. Though neither have won, this is Ross' fourth nomination and Anderson's sixth.

The powerful reason Tracee Ellis Ross refused to do gendered chores on 'Black-ish' originally appeared on

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