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Dear NBC: All Black Men Don’t Look Alike

Jermaine Dupri

Unfortunately, there’s still not enough diversity in American newsrooms, behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera. That point is reflected when supposedly reputable outlets like NBC recklessly mislabel Black people who look nothing alike. Most recently, NBC reported the breaking news that Chris Kelly of the 90s rap group Kriss Kross had died. However, take a good look at the picture they used.

So…anyone want to tell them that that’s JERMAINE DUPRI? C’mon son! Sure, Chris Kelly and Jermaine Dupri are similar in complexion, but that’s about it.

Admittedly, news outlets do sometimes make mistakes but you’re supposed to learn from them and get better. NBC isn’t the only mainstream outlet that’s guilty specifically mislabeling a person of color, but we’re using them as an example since they’re the most recent case we noticed. This also isn’t the first time for NBC. There’s that one time, during Election 2012, when a reporter called Will.i.am, “Wyclef Jean,” and then someone behind the camera “corrected” him by letting him know that it was “Wale.” When they eventually figured out that it was actually Will.i.am, the reporter’s weak attempt at covering up his blunder was saying that he was tired. Side eye.

Perhaps Paula Madison’s diversity initiatives should be reinstated? Or, NBC needs new fact checkers who can admit when they’re not sure who someone is until the problem is solved…or both.