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Marlon Wayans on ‘Good Grief’ and the Death of His Parents


Oof. Do you see? Do you see your response? Me and my brother, we used to be in a writer’s room. We’ve always been edgy with our humor. So when people have that reaction, like, Oh, God, we used to call that “getting on a whitey bike.” Brothers would crack up at that, but white people: Oh, I don’t know about that, and they start pedaling backward.

I don’t know if the “whitey bike” is the bike I ride on because — Just the fact that you said it made me laugh.

Because I’m not offended. But when somebody says the taboo thing, you go, Whew, are you allowed to say that? That’s different from taking offense. But what is taboo? When you’ve been in a situation — I can talk about things from a different perspective. When I talk about Bob and Harvey and I say that, it’s because there’s damage there. Because we have been victims. But in business, not physically. I think a monster is a monster, and those monsters showed up in business as well. [Bob Weinstein disputes that Wayans was strong-armed or that the negotiations were cutthroat.]

You know, in the “Good Grief” special, you talked about how you learned to be a man from your dad. And here with me you talked about how finding a way to move forward after your parents died also helped you grow into manhood. But I’m curious what you learned about manhood and masculinity from your son. It’s OK to be in touch with your feminine. It’s OK to be vulnerable. It’s OK to unstrap from your masculinity and your ego. Sometimes that takes you to have a different approach. Sometimes it’s not about trying to teach them. Maybe God’s trying to teach you something. It’s OK to have those stupid thoughts, small feelings, those insecure things — those egotistical thoughts like, Nah, I think I can control everything. Then God breaks you down, and life breaks you down, and when you realize you’re on your knees, that’s when God can whisper to you, and you’re like, Oh, that’s what you’re trying to teach me.

Do you remember the last thing God said to you? My God speaks to me every day. He’s in everything I do, even in my jokes, even in the darkness. God gave me a gift, which is to stay joyful through dark things, and I’m going to give that gift as much as I can. In the worst moments, I was able to try and find a smile and hold my hand up through the rubble and go, Hey, guys, take this one with you.



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