“Extra’s” Charissa Thompson had a candid conversation with her Fox Sports colleague Emmanuel Acho about his new online series “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.” After just two episodes, the show has already received more than 20 million views.
Explaining where the idea came from, Acho said, “It was really simple. I grew up with a lot of white people and I grew up in white culture. I realized that as a black man, so many of my white colleagues, they have questions about black people that they never get answered.”
He continued, “Rather than letting them sit in ignorance now that they’re finally willing to listen… I said, ‘I’m going to proactively answer the questions,’ because hearts are now ready, Charissa… Everybody is, like, at the table, waiting to be fed this meal, and I just happened to be the chef who’s preparing it in such a way that they can digest it.”
When asked if he were willing to prepare this meal for someone like Derek Chauvin or President Trump, Emmanuel replied, “So, life is all about tact. You can yell in an empty room and nobody will be willing to hear you. I am always willing, but there are two sides of the coin.”
He added, “So I will stand in the middle and I will try to bridge that gap and I will have my hands stuck out, waiting for the other person to shake. If they don’t want to shake it, so be it, but my goal isn’t to save everybody, but let’s save those and let’s change the hearts of those who want to be changed.”
He recently sat down with Matthew McConaughey, and he revealed who else he wants to talk with: “Jennifer Aniston is my goal.”
Meanwhile, he said, celebs are getting in touch with him. “It’s funny. Like, so many people reached out to me since the first video. Matthew McConaughey, he actually called me… So there is an appetite — insatiable appetite — for more of this dialogue, more of this content.”
Emmanuel also shared his definition of white privilege, saying, “White privilege is not saying as a white person, your life hasn’t been hard. Privilege is simply saying your skin color hasn’t been a contributing factor to your life. As a black man, I live in an affluent neighborhood in Austin, Texas, soon to be Los Angeles. And when I pull up to the mailbox, I sit in my car if I see a white woman walking up, because I don’t want her to perceive me as a threat.”
He continued, “If I’m on an elevator with a woman like you, I would push the button first and try to scurry off the elevator first, because I never want to be perceived as a threat. I have to live my life calculated. White people get to live their life unconsciously, so white privilege, to me, is to live your life unconscious.”
He also said people need to speak out more: “Call out racism. It’s not enough for you to be not racist. You’ve got to be anti-racist… So what you can do is first educate yourself, but then speak out when you see something unjust.”
Watch “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” on Emmanuel’s Instagram page.