White Famous

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
White Famous TV Poster Image
Irreverent, thoughtful comedy has cursing, nudity, drinking.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Race, ethnicity, fatherhood, and the pressures of the entertainment industry are central to the series.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Floyd can be crude, and certainly isn't perfect, but he's a good father and is willing to stand up for what he believes in. 

Violence

Some mild threats of punching, beating up. Fictionalized police arrest, etc. References to a famous rape case. 

Sex

Strong sexual innuendo, simulated sexual acts. Nudity (breasts, bare bottoms, partial male genitals); crude sexual references. 

Language

"Damn," "ass," "bitch," "s--t," "f--k;" racial epithets abound, including the "N" word. 

Consumerism

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, other expensive cars. Sony Pictures logo visible. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Hard liquor, beer, wine. References to drugging people.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that White Famous is an irreverent comedy series intended for mature audiences. It contains endless crude humor, cursing, and racial epithets (including the "N" word). There's also nudity (breasts, bottoms, and in one scene, partial images of male genitals), and some drinking and drunken behavior. While pretty edgy, it does offer some thoughtful commentary about fatherhood, the entertainment industry, and the kinds of compromises people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds often have to make in order to be successful in Hollywood. 

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What's the story?

WHITE FAMOUS is a comedy series starring Saturday Night Live alum Jay Pharaoh as Floyd Mooney, a working comic who's trying to balance a growing movie career with his personal principles. When a racist rant made by Hollywood producer Stu Beggs (Stephen Tobolowsky) while he's speaking to Floyd is captured on video by his best friend and roommate, Ron Balls (Jacob Ming-Trent), Floyd gets the opportunity to appear in a movie with Jamie Foxx. This helps his agent, Malcolm (Utkarsh Ambudkar), find him more opportunities that will help him become more appealing to a white audience, and thus become "white famous." While his growing career can give his son, Trevor (Lonnie Chavis), better opportunities and will appeal more to Trevor's mom, Sadie (Cleopatra Coleman), Floyd struggles with the values he holds dear and that define him as a black man in America. 

Is it any good?

This irreverent series, with all the crude humor expected from a Jamie Foxx-produced comedy series, has a fresh willingness to poke fun at controversial issues, creating space in the story for moments of insight. Pharaoh's quick-talking delivery, along with great performances by folks like Michael Rapaport and Peter King, and of course, Jamie Foxx, are what tie it all together.   

Not everyone will be comfortable with some of the humor presented here. But for those who like the style, there are a fair share of funny moments. But what makes White Famous compelling is the fact that it openly and bluntly addresses questions about how Hollywood views people of color, and the kinds of compromises people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds often have to make in order to make it in the industry. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes race such a controversial subject. What are some of the major issues related to race that are currently being discussed in the media? 

  • What do media stereotypes tell us about racism in the entertainment industry? Hoe do you feel about the way White Famous addresses it?

TV details

For kids who love comedy

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