black-ish animated special

Black-ish has not shied away from tackling timely topics, with the ABC sitcom frequently addressing issues of race, racism, and even the turbulent political landscape. So it’s no surprise that Black-ish is getting political with an upcoming election-themed special set to air this October ahead of the show’s season 7 premiere.

With a critical presidential election coming up in November, ABC has announced that its hit comedy series Black-ish will air an hour-long standalone special themed to the election. The two back-to-back episodes will be directed by Oscar-winner Matthew A. Cherry (Hair Love) with the second episode set to be completely animated. Both episodes will air on Sunday, October 4 ahead of the season 7 premiere.

The Black-ish election special will follow the Johnsons “as they navigate the upcoming election, with Junior (Marcus Scribner) embarking on his journey as a first-time voter and Dre (Anthony Anderson) launching an exploration into local politics.”

Here are the official episode details for the special:

Directed by Matthew A. Cherry from a script written by Eric Horsted,  the synopsis for “Election Special Pt. 1” reads: “Junior is excited for his first time voting but discovers he has been purged from the voter polls so he does a deep dive into why – trying to understand the systems in place for voter registration.”

Directed by Matthew A. Cherry from a script written by Graham Towers and Ben Deeb, the synopsis for “Election Special Pt. 2,” reads: “Dre’s colleague Stevens (Peter Mackenzie) makes an ill-advised decision to run for Congress, so Dre enlists his family’s help and campaigns against him but gets caught up with fundraising and private interest groups.”

It’s kind of amazing that ABC has greenlit such an unapologetically political set of episodes as this, in the light of a 2018 “controversial” episode that was pulled by the network over its addressing of the impact of Trump’s election on rising racism and shows of white supremacy throughout the U.S. (The episode was eventually released this year on Hulu). It seems that season 7 of Black-ish will continue with that newfound politically forward approach, telling stories that “shine a light on current events through the lens of the Johnson family, addressing the global pandemic, systemic racism, and the movement for social justice and equality.”

Created and executive produced by Kenya Barris, Black-ish has been met with critical acclaim and awards love since its debut in 2014, even spawning two spin-offs. The series stars Anthony Anderson as Andre “Dre” Johnson, Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow Johnson, Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson, Marcus Scribner as Andre Johnson Jr., Miles Brown as Jack Johnson, Marsai Martin as Diane Johnson, Laurence Fishburne as Pops, Jenifer Lewis as Ruby, Peter Mackenzie as Mr. Stevens, Deon Cole as Charlie Telphy, and Jeff Meacham as Josh.

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