Comedienne Kym Whitley is best known for making audiences laugh in roles such as Suga on ‘Next Friday’ and Juanita on NBC’s Animal Practice. However, she has decided to switch gears and step away from the usual scripted roles for her new docu-series ‘Raising Whitley’ which airs on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network.
Cameras follow Kym as she goes through the adoption process to gain custody for her new addition, son, Joshua. The 51-year-old actress is joined by family and friends who have decided to support Whitley by forming a ‘village’ to help raise Joshua. Among that village includes, ‘Passions’ actor Rodney Van Johnson, who stepped forward to be the surrogate father for the newly adopted child. Kym sat down to dish about the new show and explains why her show is NOT a reality show. Check the excerpts below:
On receiving the call that she surprisingly had custody of Joshua:
I was nervous. I was confused. I didn’t know what was going on. Deep down inside of me I was a little excited.
On what she calls Joshua’s birth mother:
I like to call Joshua’s biological mother, Tummy Mommy. So when I explain it, I can say well I’m Mommy-Mommy and that’s your Tummy-Mommy.Tummy-Mommy does call to check on him every now and again.
On why she doesn’t consider her show a reality show:
I like to say my show is a docu-series and not a reality show because some reality shows do over produce and make things up. Docu-series is definitely the actual events of following my life.
On what she is hoping for the show:
I’m hoping this show ‘Raising Whitley’ inspires other people to adopt and inspires other women and men to build their villages and family and I’m hoping it takes the stigma away from adoption.
On Joshua’s adopted father:
Rodney van Johnson stepped in when Joshua was 4 days old. He just took to Joshua. He said do you mind if I become his father? He said because I never had a father and I want to make sure Joshua has a Dad and someone who is always there for him.
On what’s important:
I think laughter is important and for me to teach Joshua to be a light. That’s what my parents always taught me.
Peep the entire interview below.
The season premiere of ‘Raising Whitley’ boasted over 1 million viewers and airs on Saturday nights at 10 PM on OWN.