Yvette Nicole Brown defends ‘Good Times’ reboot after backlash: ‘Still a show about family, fighting the system’

The actress, who stars in the animated series, spoke out against critics who say that reboot stereotypes Black families.

2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards  - Red Carpet
Yvette Nicole Brown attends the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards on Feb. 8, 2020, in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Yvette Nicole Brown defended her new show, an animated reboot of “Good Times,” after fans criticized the series for stereotyping the Black experience. 

The 52-year-old actress, who voices wife and mom Beverly Evans in the series, spoke out on X (formerly Twitter), arguing that the new Netflix reboot “is edgier and more irreverent than the Good Times of our childhood, but it’s still a show about family, fighting the system and working to make things better despite where you start out in the world.”

The “Good Times” reboot, which stars Brown, J.B. Smoove, Marsai Martin, Jay Pharoah, Slink Johnson and Rashida “Sheedz” Olayiwola, faced immediate backlash from fans after the trailer was released on March 27. One fan questioned how Brown could be a part of the show, to which Brown responded “[the series] 100% lines up with my values.”

“It’s called #GoodTimes because it was championed by @TheNormanLear,” Brown wrote. “He was excited to update the story and use the freedom of animation to point out what still isn’t fair and equitable to Black folks. That is what we do with the show.”

“I’ve spent my whole life shining a light on the things that matter & calling out the systems that keep a boot on our necks. At times, I take parts in projects that do the same–even if they are irreverent or risky. Coming for me as if that’s wrong is a fool’s errand.”

Critics were quick to find fault with the series for its allegedly stereotypical portrayals of Black families. In the trailer, family members are shown joking about disability checks, one character is said to be repeating the 10th grade for the third time, and the family’s youngest child is a “drug-dealing baby.” 

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“I can already tell this ‘good times’ is a gross caricaturization of a black family in the hood,” one fan wrote on X. “I’ll pass on this, and i don’t expect most black people to actually be entertained by this.”

“This is disrespectful & distasteful,” another fan commented on X. “They took a show that was based on a solid hardworking family into a cartoon caricature of Black America. Tried to guise it under the show “Good Times” smmfh.”

The “Good Times” reboot, which was produced by Stephen Curry, Norman Lear, and “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane, premieres on Netflix on April 12.

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