Gerald Slink Johnson is getting his Jesus on as the title character in Adult Swim’s Black Jesus which airs Friday nights at 11 p.m. Created by Aaron McGruder of Boondocks fame, it places Jesus in the South Central L.A. hood, along with a cast of neighborhood characters that he interacts with, including Charlie Murphy, Kali Hawk, John Witherspoon, Corey Holcomb and more. This Friday, our own Dominique guest stars. Although the show is in its second season, it’s generated some controversy for it’s satiric portrayal of Jesus. We caught up with it’s star to find out more.
Blackamericaweb.com: For those people not already watching, why should folks watch Black Jesus?
Black Jesus is a wonderfully written show very warm very heartfelt, warm and genuine show. And they should watch it and get them some salvation and did I mention it was funny?
How did you get involved?
I was pulled into the show by Aaron. It was God, it was fate, it was meant. It was supposed to happen like that. When I met Aaron, the show was a concept, it was just an idea, there was nothing written down. He hadn’t gotten as far as who would portray Black Jesus. It was the perfect time in my life. He took to my personality and my comedic style and that told him I’d be the perfect person for this idea that he had.
Were you hesitant at first to do a show with this kind of content?
I was like OK, yeah, let’s do it. Already being a fan of Aaron McGruder’s work, I knew he would do something that would be smart, funny and thought-provoking. I knew the guy would make some quality product. He’s a shining representation of us here in Hollywood.
Dominique guest stars on this week’s episode of Black Jesus. See an exclusive clip here:
You’re from a little town down South and your folks were sanctified, right?
I’m from Dumas, Arkansas. My grandmother was a very sanctified woman. I never heard her cuss – it takes more than that to be a good person but she’s displayed Christian qualities for all my life. I’ve never seen her backslide. She attended real sanctified churches and always kept her faith.
So how long did you wait to tell your folks you’d taken the role?
I told them as soon as I got home. Back when it was a web series, I was like ‘Mama, I’m finna play Jesus, mama.’ I didn’t care, because it feels good to me. Long before I cashed a check from the role, I enjoyed it and I had fun doing it. It felt good and it feels right. It feels like the right thing to do. I don’t feel like I’m hurting anybody. I don’t feel like I’m disrespecting anybody. People have their own feelings and assumptions but ultimately I have to go with what feels good to me and with my ideals.
As a Black actor in Hollywood, you weren’t trying to turn down a headlining role.
Not at all. It was a job. Most definitely.
But do you feel like Black actors are unfairly limited in what roles they can play?