"This Is Us" star Sterling K. Brown shares his thoughts about the power of representation on television and his latest initiative One Million Truth.
The Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actor stopped by "The Daily Show" to chat up with host Trevor Noah on Tuesday. In his interview, the actor who plays the role of Randall Pearson, Rebecca, and Jack's adopted son, also shared his thoughts about how storytelling can impact the audience.
In the interview, Noah remarks how interesting it is to see that his character lives in family where "even though you share so many things, there's still something that separates you and that is the colour of your skin." The host inquires about the show's storytelling methods.
In response, Brown emphasises on "power of media" and how people can learn through what they are seeing on the screen.
"I would hope so. Randall Pearson, just like his brother and sister and mother and father is a human being first and foremost, right, and I think so much of the power of media is that people learn through exposure, whether it's through travel, whether it's through books, whether it's through the representation of people they see on screen," Brown said.
He goes on to reflect on the demographic of the show "This Is Us" which he says is vast with 80 percent being white. And he explains how this gives him an opportunity to help these people develop a better understanding of people that he says, "looks like me."
"The demographic of our show is vast but it's about 80 percent white, right? So there's opportunities that I have to make conversations with people who may not have those conversations with someone that looks like me. And by virtue of them seeing me in their home 18 times a week, they can say like, 'This dude, Randall, he's just like me. He loves his kids. He loves his wife. I understand part of his struggle even if I don't understand the totality of it.' So hopefully the next time they see me or anybody who looks like me, they can lean in rather than step away," the actor explained.
Brown, who is also known for his work in Amazon Prime original series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," also talked about his work with One Million Truths. He described the project as "a platform, an initiative for Black folks in America to share their experiences with racism."
He says it provides a "centralised way" for African-Americans to learn about other people's stories and struggles. He believes having one place which showcases these stories can help in "development of empathy and hopefully a wave of support that we can ride right now to make some real change to systemic racism in this country."
In addition, he emphasised that he wants to tell stories "where people of colour or in marginalised groups are front and centre." He believes that seeing oneself on screen makes you believe that "your story is important as anybody else's."