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Social Worker on “The L.A. Complex” Doesn’t Know Love Interest Hiding Secret

Social worker Dawna (actress Tattiawna Jones) does not know rapper Kaldrick King (Andra Fuller) is hiding a secret. Screenshot courtesy of The L.A Complex.

Social worker Dawna on the CW drama “The L.A. Complex” is falling in love with troubled superstar rapper Kaldrick King, who is the son of her co-worker at the 19th Street Mission.

“Listen, if you’re looking to make some changes in your life I think that’s great,” Dawna (actress Tattiawna Jones) tells Kaldrick (Andra Fuller) in a recent episode. “And if there is anything I can do to help I’d like to do it.”

Dawna is used to making changes in life.

She is the daughter of drug addicts and became an addict herself before turning  her life around and becoming a social worker.

“It was hell,” she says.

But what Dawna doesn’t suspect is that Kaldrick is gay and hiding his sexuality because he fears he could lose his fan base and millionnaire lifestyle and disappoint his father, who set him up with Dawna.

Kaldrick has already been involved in a secret affair with Tariq Muhammad (Benjamin Charles Watson), an intern in the music studio. That relationship ended on a violent note.

Tariq Mohammad (Benjamin Charles Watson), left, and Kaldrick King (Andra Fuller) on The L.A. Complex. Photo courtesy of the CW.

SocialWorkersSpeak.org talked to “The L.A. Complex” co-producer and director Stefan Brogren to find out why the program decided to tackle homosexuality and homophobia in Hip Hop and the African American community.

The L.A. Complex follows a group of Canadian young adults who come to Los Angeles to make their fortune in the entertainment industry. However, many find the price of success is high. The program airs Monday nights at 8 p.m.

Here’s our exchange with Brogren:

Q: Stefan, what inspired you to write a gay storyline into L.A. Complex?

BROGREN: It just made sense for us to include this storyline as it is a part of everyday life and it would be silly not to consider telling all stories. It made sense for the world that we produce in, which is all-encompassing. We also felt like it was a compelling story that we could get drama from. We strive to get this from all of our storylines, gay or straight. We also believed that it was an original story that had not yet been told. The development, writing and shooting of this storyline happened well before (Hip Hop artist) Frank Ocean had come out publicly.

 Q: Did you hope the portrayal of Kaldrick King and Tariq would educate viewers about hurdles facing LGBT people, despite recent gains?

BROGREN: We really hoped that it would take viewers on a ride that they have not yet been on. There’s a lot to be said for awareness so we hope that in addition to being entertained, the viewers see a part of life that really does exist. It really would be ridiculous to think that there are no gay artists/producers/writers in Hip-Hop.

Stefan Brogren. Photo courtesy of IMDB.

Q: What has been the public reaction to the portrayal in Canada and the United States? Was the reaction different in each country?

BROGREN: We know that there is a lot of vested interest in Kaldrick and Tariq’s relationship from the fans. We saw an incredible amount of discussion on Twitter about this storyline, mostly in support of it. You know you are doing something right when you read this. The reaction was the same in each country.

Q: The series has been renewed in Canada and despite lower ratings the CW will apparently begin airing new episodes last month. What can viewers expect to see from Kaldrick in the future.

BROGREN: This is such a rich storyline with many layers. There are many more stories to tell so you never know where Kaldrick’s stories will go. They could always involve Tariq in some way, or not, as there are lots of other roads to go down.

Social workers are devoted to equal treatment for all, including members of the LGBT community. To learn more visit National Association of Social Workers’ Diversity and Equity Website by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

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