Love was in the air at the Saban Theater in West Hollywood Tuesday evening. The auditorium was packed with young couples and single Angelenos for clips and conversations about OWN’s new docu-series “Black Love.”
“Preach, preacher!” yelled an audience member to reverend and Hollywood movie producer DeVon Franklin at the event, moderated by “Insecure” star Yvonne Orji. The panel featured couples from the series, including Franklin (whose wife, Meagan Good, was away filming), singer and music producer duo Erica and Warryn Campbell, as well as Neil Brown Jr. of “Insecure,” and his wife, Catrina.
The discussion tackled ideas about gender roles, infidelity, communication issues, and vulnerability between partners. One of the many gems to get applauded came from Franklin, who articulated his initial annoyance that his wife stopped cooking shortly after they married.
“As the husband, what I had to realize is that I’m putting an expectation on her that is suffocating,” he said. “And what happens in my experience is that by the time we get to marriage, women have had to endure so much abuse — physical, emotional, spiritual. If the husband doesn’t create an environment where there is no expectation than just to be, then inadvertently we become the perpetuators of abuse that the marriage was designed to heal.”
While the title of the show is called “Black Love,” the series is not exclusive to black couples. Codie Oliver, who co-created the series with her husband Tommy, explained, “It was very important to show black people in very healthy relationships, not exclusively black couples.”
She pointed out mixed race couples in the series, including comedian Chris Spencer’s interracial relationship with wife Vanessa. Viola Davis, Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Sean Patrick Thomas and Vanessa Bell-Calloway also make appearances.
“Black Love” airs Saturdays at 9pm on OWN.
(Pictured: Erica and Warryn Campbell at the “Black Love” premiere event)