Taye Diggs Clarifies Comments That He Wants His Son to Be Seen as Mixed Race, Not Black
By Antoinette Bueno
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Taye Diggs Defends Comments About His Son's Race
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Taye Diggs is defending himself after his recent comments about his biracial son caused controversy.
The 44-year-old actor has been promoting his second children's book, Mixed Me, when he talked about his 6-year-old son Walker with his ex-wife, singer Idina Menzel. Diggs said he would rather his son be identified as mixed race, as opposed to black.
"When you [call biracial kids black], you risk disrespecting that one half of who you are and that's my fear," Taye told TheGrio.com, also referencing President Barack Obama, who's often referred to as the first black president when he's in fact biracial. "I don't want my son to be in a situation where he calls himself black and everyone thinks he has a black mom and a black dad, and then they see a white mother, they wonder, 'Oh, what's going on?'"
After his comments didn't go over too well with some of his fans, the former Private Practice star took to social media to clarify his intent.
"I am a proud black man," Diggs both tweeted and Instagrammed on Wednesday. "I want my son to grow up to be a proud black man if he so chooses. He has a mother who is white. He has every right to be just as proud of his mother's 'blood' as well. Please wake up, people. It's not that deep."
Still, the statement didn't appease everyone.
"I understand completely what you're saying sir but you're setting your son up for an identity crisis, which will mentally affect him if society doesn't accept him as 'white,'" one user wrote. "Being mixed is a beautiful thing."
"It's not that we have a problem with your son identifying as a black or white man, it's the underlying SELF HATE issues that we see that YOU have with yourself!" another user commented. " ... It's not that deep but you market an entire book about having a mixed kid like it’s a privilege!"
Mixed Me is Taye's second children's book, and features a mixed-race child named Mike as the main character. Diggs has previously said that the book is inspired by his own son.
"I’ve always been exposed to people of mixed race," he explained to EW in October. Being around them, you’re exposed to all of the silly, or ignorant, or interesting questions they get asked. ... I want my son to not feel discouraged in any way, or feel any of those negative feelings, if and when people may approach him, because that’s just what people do. He shouldn’t have to explain himself to anyone, you know?"
"As people can imagine, it gets rough at times just because we're not in the same city, but we still love each other and what's most important is we love our son," Diggs said. "That stabilizes us. I'm thankful for him."