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Wayne Brady Calls Out Racist Joke Made At His Expense On Old 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' Episode

Wayne Brady Calls Out Racist Joke Made At His Expense On Old 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' Episode
Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

For many of us, this is a time of reflection upon our personal pasts, evaluating the ways in which we ourselves may have been racist or played into a racist power structure without a second thought.

But in the case of Wayne Brady, it became a reflection upon two moments in the popular show Whose Line Is It Anyway? when he was both part of a racist joke and also part of the reversal of the joke along with host Aisha Tyler.

Brady shared the moment on social media, which featured Ryan Stiles stepping out of line and implicating that Colin Mochrie, Brady, and guest star Jonathan Magnum were in a police lineup by saying:

"Can you pick out the man that robbed you?"

Brady immediately looks physically uncomfortable.

Seconds after the joke ends, he addresses the audience:

"Y'all know that's f***ed up, right?"

The clip also shows the end of the segment, where host Aisha Tyler joins Brady downstage and says:

"Sir, can you pick out the man that embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars in the American economy, and then made you pay for it?"

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Immediately, Brady responded with:

"You mean after systematically devaluing my education and relegating me to certain neighborhoods where I couldn't actually pursue the education that would enable me to rise to meet a certain fiscal stature in this country?"

Meanwhile, all three White men, looking very guilty in response to the crimes Brady and Tyler list, flee from the stage.

"And also preventing you from making any loans, or homes, or jobs, or businesses, or getting a car lease," Tyler adds, before the buzzer sounds.

Brady's caption reads:

"When you're joking but not really. When comedy and the truth meet up..."

Brady and Tyler's deconstruction of systemic racism in under a minute is so powerful and perfect that people all across the internet are expressing their admiration.

Tyler also commented on the clip on Twitter, but focused on the fact it was an accurate representation of how generations of innocent people of color ended up in prison based on rigged line ups:

"To be fair, how I took that joke is that police are biased, assume black people are inherently suspect, then leverage racist attitudes and manufacture evidence against them rather than do their jobs."
"I am quite clear, however, that it could play a totally different way."

As we continue to have discussions surrounding micro-aggressions, racist jokes and how to dismantle systemic racism step by step, people can remember this sliver of television which good-naturedly, yet all-too-honestly, broke down how Black people are oppressed by the system in America.