Dear Taye Diggs: You Were NOT Misquoted By MyBrownBaby

Taye Diggs took to Twitter over the weekend to claim he was misquoted when it was reported that his mother married a dark-skinned man because she thought she wasn’t “black enough”—a claim of inaccuracy we at MyBrownBaby take seriously, as it was our interview and promotional giveaway of his new children’s book, “Chocolate Me!” that the Private Practice actor is calling out. We at MyBrownBaby want to be absolutely clear: We did not misquote Taye Diggs.

Diggs did, indeed, tell MyBrownBaby that the accolades model Tyson Beckford received for being beautiful made him embrace his dark skin and, when asked a follow-up question, Diggs revealed that his mother, a fair-skinned black woman, was “seeking out  the dark because she didn’t feel black enough. So it’s a continuing issue.”

Those were Diggs’ words–not MyBrownBaby’s. He said them in response to a MyBrownBaby question given him in a Q&A roundtable with four other bloggers. And, though we taped the interview, his book publicist took the unusual move of transcribing the interview and having it approved by Diggs before releasing it to us for our story and “Chocolate Me!” giveaway. Which means that not only do we have a tape, four other interviewers and a publicist have the tape, and Taye, his publicist, and five other people have the transcript. So I repeat: Taye Diggs was NOT misquoted.

Now, we can’t speak for all of the other crazy that was running across the internet; for sure, Taye’s discussion of colorism, self-esteem and its effects on him and black children, while valid, stirs up a host of hate among black folk. While we at MyBrownBaby absolutely abhor the nastiness and vitriol the mere sight of this man seems to conjure up, we have absolutely no control over the rumors, gossip and innuendo that others ran with when sites like Bossip, the Huffington Post, MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful followed our story. And like Taye, we are truly bothered that something as beautiful as a children’s book meant to help African American kids deal with the sting of colorism and love themselves exactly the way they are turned into such a disgustingly ugly affair.

But what we will not tolerate from anyone is the suggestion that we, a stable of New York Times bestselling authors, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and respected writers, poets and media professionals, misquote interviewees and traffic in gossip and innuendo. That’s simply not what we do, Mr. Diggs. By any stretch. In any event, we wish your book, “Chocolate Me!” the best of luck.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

15 Comments

  1. He didn’t know who he was challenging on this. This is disappointing.

  2. Bravo for you, this seems to be Mr. Diggs issue. I read an article in a magazine that quoted him as saying, “his mother knew he would marry white.” If he is going to address these issues he will have to stand by what he says OR be more careful about what he says.

  3. Karen Good Marable

    Word life, MBB. Thank you for standing up.

  4. Great move. His statements are now undefendable…as they were from the jump. He just didn’t believe you would step up and discredit him. LOL. NOW he knows….Good job. Truth is always in style.

  5. I’m going to be completely honest. I have a firm belief that we are all human and make mistakes and simply need to own it. Thank you for clarifying that you are have more than one way of backing yourselves up that you did not mis-quote him. Now as for Mr.Diggs, he lost a potential buyer. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud him for coming out with a much needed book for our Brown Babies but if your mother said what she said, its the truth and own it. We have a lot of colorism issues going on in our families and this just proves to me that he is not acknowleding HIS FAMILY’s issues.

  6. I have fancied Taye Diggs for a while but that tweet was unnecessary. As long as you know the truth and have stuck to integrity – why is he mad??

  7. Bravo, Denene. A very fair and balanced response to what looks like Diggs’ feelings of regret when he later considered the potential repurcussions of his remarks. It also shows you how much we as Black Folk are still wrapped up in the color issue – even in 2012. I’ll still buy the book because I love the illustrator Shane Evans and I want my two-year old son to be exposed to books that celebrate his beautiful skin. I applaud you and your colleagues for speaking The Truth. Carry on!

  8. You sure told him. I too I’m very surprised by Taye’s statements. Does he not know what you stand for and are all about. Shame on him.

    Well done girl.

  9. *In that order* If one can not stand behind what they say they should refrain from saying it in a public forum, but that is just my thoughts on it.

    I think my sister and I might be the only black people who felt that Taye Diggs book was an *EPIC FAIL*… that book will never grace the bookshelves in our home and we will never allow our children to read it.

    I “understand” what he was trying to get at but I thought it could have been done better, and it’s offensive to me. I get that having a book that talks about skin is great but if you are going to put such comments on pages you need to follow it up with but this is why I like me or what makes me so special or something…

    But anyways I know some will say if I think I can do better I should. I am not saying that, I don’t have an interest in writing a children’s book about skin color… I am just stating my opinion and in my opinion that book was a Chocolate Fail…

  10. STAND UP!!! WE, as people, always have to ‘watch’ what we say because it may be taken in the wrong way, but we also have to take responsibility for whatever comes out of our mouth! Let’s see if he dares challenge the transcripts!!!!

  11. I ususally try to stay away from this subject because it is so sad to me. I am a dark skinned woman who also knows the interdestructive pain of being unaccepted or thought everything but beautiful because of my skin color. But blessedly for me I grew up with a father who always told me that I was particularly beautiful for that reason alone. I have 3 daughters who are also dark and they get me showing them all the ways that their skin is so enrichingly beautiful. I am a dark skin woman who LOVES her covering in all its glistening glory. I actually think my blackness is my best feature and I embrace and accentuate it and hope that one day WE all will learn to love what is absolutely the beauty of us, our skin, dark, light, white or otherwise.

  12. I just hope he’s informed enough not to generalize the entire community on Twitter, and to understand where the nasty comments come from. Since as a community, we don’t really talk about and confront ideas about “colorism” as it’s used here, but ideas of about skin color. I think, as a result, you have these reactions that are very mean spirited (perhaps ignornant), but certainly emotional, and reflect more on the experiences people had dealing with their own skin trauma, growing up, and today.

  13. Taye Diggs has a problem with himself. An obvious problem, and he will get what is coming to him. Ignore the silly boy.

  14. Im 22, I am from the younger generation, but its all the same. As I have grown up and watched black guys get with white girls, the fact is all the same. Even if you have a well educated, strong, confident, classy, independent black woman, a black man will most likely always take the easy way out. And at the end of the day, alot of white women are push overs. And this is coming from a non racial opinion. this is coming from a person who has witnessed this since I started going to an all white school at 17 up until now. And also coming from a woman who has grown up around black men her entire life, so I know what a black man is about.

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