On this episode of The Loni Swain Show podcast, I had a “quickie” chat with actor Jay Ellis (a television and film actor, philanthropist, and entrepreneur) who is best known for his roles as “Lawrence” on HBO’s hit series Insecure and “Blue” on the BET hit series The Game.
Hear what he had to say about being a Capricorn, what makes him memorable in bed, what women should look for in a “good guy”, and we played my favorite game “either, or”.
Meanwhile, there is much debate on whether or not “Lawrence” is actually a “good guy” character. He gained many faithful male supporters aka “The Lawrence Hive” after his character was cheated on by Issa Rae in season one. Because most people feel that women cheating is inexcusable at all times no matter the circumstances, or how many times these same people would argue that a cheating man deserves a second chance, many jumped on the Lawrence bandwagon. However, many women argue that Lawrence wasn’t even a good boyfriend to Issa in the first place. He had been unemployed for four years and for the last two years of his unemployed stint, he was depressed and solely relying on Issa.
Not only was Lawrence depressed and not working, he wasn’t visibly working to maintain his relationship or compensate for the areas he was lacking in. If you aren’t going to work or contributing financially – have dinner on the table, laundry washed and folded, dishes cleaned and put away and a hot bath drawn when Issa gets home man. Not Lawrence tho. Issa would come home to find him sitting on the sofa in the same spot she left him in. He also didn’t even remember Issa’s birthday. How Sway?!?! You have nothing but time on your hands! But because so much of a woman’s worth in this society is contingent upon her having a man, Issa was constantly told she better hold on to her “good man”.
I’m convinced that many people, especially men, believe that all it takes for a man to be considered “good” to a woman is providing one of two things: being faithful, or providing financially. Nine out of ten times, if he is doing one, it would be FAR too much to ask for or expect that he do the other as well. Hence, posts like the one below.
This post had a zillion comments of women “picking” which they would rather have their man do, given the choices. SMH. Yet a woman’s fidelity is usually non-negotiable, along with a mile long list of other non-negotiable demands like keeping up her appearance, the household and the “pulse” of the household. Why are we, as women, willing to accept the idea that we can’t demand both? If we’re using this ruler, Lawrence was a “good guy”. So far as we know, he was faithful to Issa. Yet, this was damn near his ONLY contribution to the relationship. Hell, he couldn’t afford to cheat! So we don’t know if he was actually even faithful by choice or by circumstance! Yet, Issa was supposed to continue to stick by his side, her BOYFRIEND’s side, not even her husband? Let’s be clear, I’m not an advocate for cheating. However, this debate is merely about the quality of the relationship Lawrence was even offering. The quality of guy Lawrence even is, from a dating perspective. I feel like there is this over glorification of a man that is able to be faithful to the woman he willingly entered into a relationship with. In my opinion, that’s the bare bones basic expectation of what you are SUPPOSED to do when you commit to someone. Why does that deserve an award? Because most men don’t, duh! But that doesn’t mean he is some over achiever. Especially coupled with the fact that that is his only redeeming quality combined with their long term history.
Now some argue that Lawrence was an asshole in season two as well: he played Tasha the bank teller (slept with Issa while he was with her, he ghosted her at a family picnic), he wasn’t really all that great with his co-worker Aparna (questioning her, brought her to dinner that he knew Issa would be at), and he messed over Issa too (multiple times- had sex with her and never called, brought a new woman to her friend’s dinner party, blocked her on FB lol). So… I’m curious to hear the arguments from those that think Lawrence is a good guy. Where? How? And I need examples of him doing something other than what he is supposed to do. No awards for “he didn’t whip Issa’s ass when he found out she was cheating” either.
Check out this article, from a male perspective, and let me know if you agree.
You can find Jay Ellis on social media: @JayREllis on Instagram and Twitter
@therealjayellis on Facebook
Disclaimer: This interview was recorded in 2014.