Several big-name actors came together Tuesday night for a virtual re-creation of a classic episode of “The Golden Girls.”
The event was the first installment of “Zoom Where It Happens,” a live table-read series presented by Black women artists with a goal to mobilize voters. Tuesday's episode aimed to raise awareness about the 2020 census and to connect people to the civil rights organization Color of Change.
During the “Golden Girls” special, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sanaa Lathan, Alfre Woodard and Regina King delivered their own take on the 1986 episode titled “Flu Attack,” in which the three main characters — you guessed it — get the flu.
Ross played Rose, Lathan portrayed Blanche, King was Dorothy and Woodard acted as Dorothy’s mother, Sophia. Filmmaker and actor Lena Waithe hosted the event, narrating the stage cues and occasionally playing minor roles, while “Grey’s Anatomy” actor Jesse Williams played all the male characters.
They even invited singer Aaron Scott, aka Finally Aaron, to liven up the theme song by delivering his viral rendition.
“We wanted to do the Black version of the theme song,” Ross explained before Scott performed a gospel version of Andrew Gold's “Thank You for Being a Friend.”
There were a handful of costume changes and several moments of laughter as they broke character.
In their calls to action for voters, the performers stressed urgency in completing census forms.
“As of today, 65% of households have filled it out and 34% of Black households haven’t been counted,” Waithe explained. “You deserve to be counted.”
The census data determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities. Government officials estimate the Census Bureau will be done with data collection by Sept. 30.
Waithe added it’s not too late to respond to the census and suggested people go online to do so.
“When communities don’t complete the census, they’re left underfunded for the next 10 years,” Waithe said. “It takes 10 minutes to fill out, and it’ll impact the next 10 years of your lives.”
The “Zoom Where It Happens” series will continue with a rotating cast of actors every Tuesday at 9p.m. EST until Election Day.