hidden fences

Remember the ‘Hidden Fences’ Debacle? It’s Now a Real Play

After the Golden Globes flub sent Twitter into a frenzy, one writer and comedian decided to bring 'Hidden Fences' to life

by #TeamEBONY, April 18, 2017

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hidden fences

Back in January, Today Show correspondent Jenna Bush Hager sent Black Twitter into a frenzy when she mistakenly mashed-up two of the Golden Globes Best Film nominees, Hidden Figures and Fences, to become Hidden Fences. 

Pharrell Williams’ side-eye was only the beginning, as users across social media derided Hager for the mistake, forcing her to give a teary on-air apology. Though the mix-up felt careless to many, others used it as an opportunity to create.

EBONY rolled out a trailer for the mythical film.

And one man decided to bring Hidden Fences to life. After watching the drama–and jokes–unfold across social media, writer and comedian Jordan Temple sat down to write his first play, Hidden Fences, to “reclaim that slip-up” which he figured was “ripe for satire.”

In an essay for AfroPunk, Temple, who also writes for MTV’s webseries Decoded, explained why he penned the play and what his version is all about:

I wanted to reclaim that slip-up and felt like it was ripe for satire. As a kid, I watched some of the best black comedians and learned from the greats. Whether it was The Wayans with “Don’t Be A Menace To Society While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood” at the movies, “Chappelle’s Show” on TV, or my Grandmother saying “whitey” on the la-z-boy. I was born and raised in the projects in Queens, New York City, youngest of two, by a single mom, one project over from the infamous QueensBridge Housing projects. I’ve chipped my front tooth twice and clocked hours observing from my project window. I’m like the Nas of comedy.

The premise of “Hidden Fences,” in my version, is that ‘Troy’ wants to be the first Black man to hit a baseball into space, and the “Hidden Figures” are gonna do the math to help get it there. The story loosely combines the two movies and uses a range of references from Black movies, music, and culture into one long-burning joke that has a bunch of jokes in between. The character I play, ‘Troy,’ is a garbage man who is down on his luck. He used to be one of the best space baseball players in his youth, but never got the opportunity to play on the Moon. His wife, Rosemary, works for NASA and she demoralizes him at every turn. His son, Cory, just got a space baseball scholarship, which is much to Troy’s dismay.

Interested? Hidden Fences is currently playing in Brooklyn. Follow the play’s Facebook page for details about how to see the show.

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