In the fabulously fun opening theme song for MTV’s new hit series, “Todrick,” the fabulously fun Todrick Hall sings about how he was told he’d never make it out of his home state of Texas.
Well, we know that didn’t end up happening because after appearing on “American Idol,” he went on to make a name for himself crafting amazing YouTube videos and, well, he now is headlining his own docuseries on MTV.
But, as you’ll see in tonight’s all-new episode, Todrick and his gang head back to Texas where he ends up making a video (utilizing his own family members, of course) but also has a touching heart-to-heart with his younger brother.
In the first part of this interview, I talked to Hall about creating “Todrick” but in the second part, we talked about whether we’d see his relationship with boyfriend Jesse Pattison in the show as well as the interaction with his brother when he went back home.
Are we seeing your relationship in the show?
TH: No, no. I think I just want people to know who I am as an artist and even I struggled with the idea of whether or not to even do that story about my brother because he still has to live in that environment and we come from a very conservative part of Texas. It was something I was very nervous about it and I talked to my family about it. And MTV was so nice and ‘if you feel comfortable doing this we would love to cover it and if not, this is not something that we need to do.’
I just felt like it was important for people, especially young African American boys, [to see] because our culture can be so aggressive when it comes to this topic, specifically. I just feel it's very important for them to see a role model and somebody coming out and talking to their brother. My brother is not gay that I know of and he is a basketball player and an athlete and a football player and for people to see that it's within their own families and it's not something that is so far removed and it shouldn't be a big deal.
When my brother responded the way he did, I got really choked up and tried to get it together because it could have gone south really fast, but the fact that he was just like 'it's nothing big.' That's what he had to say and I imagine that one day we will live in a world where everyone would feel that way. It's nothing big.
I just think that that aspect of the show is so important and I'm hoping and praying that me coming out and…when you're a person that's trying to be a public figure and you're black and you're gay and for some people it's a little too much for them to handle. I think there are a lot of people who are afraid to be who they are and if I have to sacrifice a little bit of fame and a little bit of success because I'm being 100 percent truthful with who I am, hopefully that will create a paved way for someone else. The Todrick Hall that's to come 20, 30 years from now won't even have to think about that. They'll be like 'yeah, that's old news, Todrick did that in 2015.' That way they will be able to just come and just be an artist.
That was very difficult for me on "American Idol" to feel like I had to be a certain way. It wasn't that the producers were saying that you shouldn't be gay or whatever but there was this unspoken energy around saying you have to appeal to Middle America and Middle America at that point was not ready for all that. I think that this is an awesome God-given gift to me that I'm getting to have this show and able to express who I am the real me 100 percent who I am to the world because I didn't feel like I got to do that on "American Idol."
Here is a preview of Monday night’s episode:
In 2015, I see shows like yours others whether it’s “Faking It” or other shows that have LGBT characters…
TH: “RuPaul’s Drag Race”…
If I had seen that stuff when I was a kid, it would've been a big deal for me. Your show probably couldn't have existed at least not you being who you are today. Like you said with "American Idol"…
TH: Water it down.
Water it down, yeah.
TH: Luckily MTV didn’t ask us or weren’t like ‘we need some straight guys on here.’ They took my team 100 percent as it was and put them on camera. I think that’s why you feel that energy when you’re watching it, even not knowing us because they are really just bringing a camera into our house and filming what we are already doing. I love that the most about this experience because this isn’t a show that you can just put some random person that doesn’t know what we do and doesn’t go by our rules and guidelines. There is no way they’d be able to function in this type of environment. And it’s hardly touched on at all.
If you missed last week’s premiere episode, watch it here:
“Todrick” airs Mondays at 10pm on MTV.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.