The 'Boomerang' #MeToo Episode Tackled The Movement From Several Black Millennial Perspectives
Spoilers ahead for the “Us Too” episode of Boomerang. The penultimate Season 1 episode of Boomerang tackled the #MeToo movement in its own way, and it was one of the first times that the tight knit group of friends seemed to splinter. Yet, the Boomerang episode "Us Too" was an accurate and moving depiction of the many viewpoints that people have on sexual assault and the ramifications people face as a result.
Simone is devastated when allegations of sexual assault surface against her "reformed womanizer" father Marcus Graham. It leads to The Graham Agency’s sudden shutdown and some of her friends losing their jobs — and a lot of food for thought for the friend group. Boomerang packs a powerful punch in a mere 20 minutes by allowing Simone, Bryson, Crystal, Tia, Ari, and David to break down their different opinions on not only Marcus Graham, but real-life celebrities like R. Kelly and Bill Cosby, cancel culture, and victim blaming from a Black millennial perspective.
It’s an uncomfortable, eye-opening, and thought-provoking exchange that peels back the complicated layers for each character. And, some of the characters' beliefs and where they stand on the issues might surprise some fans, for better or worse.
Here's how all of them defended their positions.
“This sh*t ain’t Black and White. I love my father, but I’m still a feminist. I can’t only sympathize with women who haven’t been harassed by him. That’s not fair.”
Simone's friends may idolize her father, but she has always had a more realistic view of Marcus. But that doesn't mean that she's not having a tough time with this accusation. As his daughter, Simone has to reconcile her love for her father alongside her morals and beliefs.
Simone is determined to hold her dad accountable for his actions, even if the actions in question occurred 20 years ago, and encourages Crystal to come to terms with her own sexual assault so she can see the truth about Marcus’ actions.
A similar situation played out in real life when R. Kelly’s daughter Buki Abi spoke out about the allegations against her father and denounced his alleged behavior towards women. It has to be heartbreaking to realize certain truths about a parent, but there’s also a choice to make in terms of how to navigate the aftermath.
Some people like Buki choose to speak out when it feels right for them, whereas others are not comfortable addressing a painful situation in public. It remains to be seen what Simone will do, but she has made her no-tolerance stance about sexual harassment clear to her friends.
"I get it. Your dad was an a**hole. But now he's married to an incredible woman and he has a beautiful daughter and he's not that dude anymore. Let's move on."
Crystal represents so many victims who blame themselves for their assault. She hasn’t been able to accept or reconcile her emotions about her own sexual assault that took place at some undetermined time in the past, so it makes it hard for her to have clarity in this situation. Acknowledging Marcus Graham’s actions as wrong would essentially force her to have to deal with the pain she has suppressed for years.
At the beginning of the episode, she admits to Bryson that women probably didn’t feel comfortable speaking out against such a powerful executive. But she shares his pain of seeing the firm that literally shaped their careers going up in flames.
But when the group dives into conversation, she flips the script and says she hates to see a powerful Black man being taken down. Crystal downplays his actions by saying it’s not too bad because he “didn’t rape anybody” and insists the story is coming out because of a business merger that would have made The Graham Agency even more powerful.
She says Marcus has moved on from his past and is no longer that person. It’s an all too common thought process that puts certain men on pedestals and places the blame everywhere except where it belongs — with the offender. In some ways, Crystal's reaction is reminiscent of when Olympic athlete Gabby Douglas came under fire for tweets many felt were victim-blaming — and it was later revealed that she was also assaulted by her former team doctor Larry Nassar.
Blaming victims and deflecting is the default stance for too many people and it leaves women suffering in silence as a result. In the end, Crystal’s conversation with Simone and wise words from Tia bring her to tears in the shower in a sign that her wounds might finally begin to heal.
"All I'm saying is we can't keep giving these dudes a pass. Women need to feel safe at work, at home, on the bus, at the beauty supply store..."
Tia was the undisputed MVP in this episode, which isn’t surprising considering she is an activist. She read the whole table to rights, discussing how men in powerful positions take advantage of women who don’t have the financial stability and/or confidence to take a stand against their behavior. She said she was glad that women were speaking up to hold men accountable for their actions and made it clear that assaults and harassment don't exist on "levels" or that anyone deserves a pass because of who they are.
Tia also counterbalanced the argument about how people should just “move on” by reminding her friends that these women are stuck with the pain and the loss of their peace while the "Marcus Grahams" of the world get to move on.
Her voice is one that is often undervalued by some people because she’s seen as an "uneducated" woman from the “hood” who worked in the sex industry — but she’s honestly schooling everyone about the facts of sexual harassment and women’s rights.
“Marcus Graham was the only man that I ever looked up to. I figured if I could be half the man that he was, I’d be alright. I feel like I just found out that Superman can’t fly.”
What happens when you realize your idol is fallible? This was Bryson’s struggle in the episode as a young man who has seen Marcus as the blueprint for success. Bryson tends to be #TeamSimone on most things, but he is unsure of where he falls in this particular scale. He never defends Marcus’ actions but he also doesn’t take a firm stance against them either.
Bryson recognizes the alleged wrongs of R. Kelly, but he can’t bring himself to come to the same conclusion about men whom he looked up to as father figures like Marcus and Bill Cosby’s Dr. Huxtable character. His story is what happens when people place others on a perfect pedestal and they inevitably disappoint them in some form. And it’s a reminder that people have to remove their rose-tinted glasses and emotional ties to gain full clarity about a situation.
"It's not our place to judge anybody. We're all gonna fall down at some point in our lives."
As expected, David took a Biblical approach and said it wasn’t anyone’s place to judge others because we all sin. The group may not have agreed on much, but they definitely came together to shoot down his notion that God wouldn’t put more on Simone’s mother than she could handle when it comes to dealing with her husband’s accusations.
It is true that we all make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean that we are given a pass to not hold people accountable for their actions.
"I'm not saying it's right, but it's in the past. Why can't we leave it there?"
Ari won fans over when he spoke up about bisexuality a couple of episodes ago, but he won’t be getting much applause for his comments on this situation. Sadly, his views about how people should put the allegations in the past and insistence that women speaking up about their experiences are “ruining his childhood” are shared by a ton of people.
It’s understandable how he latched onto The Cosby Show and learned important life lessons from that specific piece of pop culture, but it doesn’t negate Bill Cosby's real-life crimes. And, as Tia said, it’s easy for fans to simply keep watching this show or listening to R. Kelly while their victims have to keep going through so much pain.
The question of if one can and should separate art from the artist is an ongoing conversation with no single clear answer. But it’s important to see this discourse within a friend group, as everyone can learn from checking their privilege.
Boomerang's unique take on these issues will hopefully continue the conversation about consent, harassment, and accountability among viewers for a long time.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.