ABC is allowing Michelle Obama to use her upcoming guest appearance on the sitcom black-ish to promote her voter registration initiative, which despite calling itself “non-partisan” has advocated for vote by mail and pushed Democratic legislation that would federalize elections and roll back voter identification requirements.
The episode, which is set to air tonight on the Disney-owned network, will feature a storyline that will incorporate Obama’s When We All Vote organization, with the former first lady attending a fundraiser for the group with the show’s protagonists, played by Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, according to a report from The Hill.
Obama will also host a virtual watch party alongside Ellis Ross, who served as a host of the Democratic National Convention in 2020.
“You do not want to miss this,” Obama said in a social media video to promote the episode and the watch party. “This is going to be a good one.”
“It’s such a good episode,” Ellis Ross enthused.
They also urged viewers to sign up and volunteer for When We All Vote in the promo video.
So grateful to be a part of it! pic.twitter.com/p7lrVESlIo
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 4, 2022
ABC has released a teaser clip of the episode, showing other characters played by Laurence Fishburne and Jenifer Lewis gushing over the former first lady.
— black-ish (@blackishabc) January 1, 2022
This isn’t the first time ABC has partnered with Michelle Obama. In 2020, just before election day, the network aired the voter registration comedy special VOMO: Vote or Miss Out, which was produced by a group of organizations including a media company called ATTN:, which has close ties to the Obama family, as well as When We All Vote.
Created by Michelle Obama, When We All Vote is a self-described “nonpartisan initiative” that uses celebrity influencer power to drive voter registration and “change the culture around voting.” Among its celebrity chairs are Tom Hanks, Selena Gomez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kerry Washington, and soccer star Megan Rapinoe — all of whom backed Joe Biden in last year’s presidential race.
The organization has backed Democrats’ attempts to wrest control of elections from states and put it in the hands of the federal government, including measures that would cancel voter identification requirements.
— When We All Vote (@WhenWeAllVote) August 22, 2021
Among the Democratic efforts backed by When We All Vote was the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would have radically transformed America’s electoral system to the benefit of Democrats. The House passed the bill in August and but the legislation failed in the Senate.