‘This Is Us’ Tackles Important Conversation About Racism as Randall and Kevin Reconnect

Randall and Kevin Pearson had a long-awaited conversation on the April 13 episode of This Is Us titled “Brotherly Love.” A huge storyline of the show’s fifth season is Randall recovering from the racial trauma he experienced as a result of being adopted by a white family. Growing up and not knowing his biological family left him constantly feeling like an outsider, and in the April 13 episode, he finally addressed his brother’s role in his complicated upbringing.

“I never wanted to be special, man. I just wanted to blend in like everybody else. But that was impossible in our family, because I always stood out,” Randall told Kevin in the episode. (The characters are played by actors Sterling K. Brown and Justin Hartley respectively.) 

Randall continued, “Everywhere we went. The store, the park, vacations. And the last thing I needed, man, the last thing, was for my brother to use my Blackness to other me also. You had racial blind spots, Kev. Deep ones that affected me.”


Kevin and Randall had a huge falling out in season four due to their conflicting views on how to handle their mom Rebecca’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Writer Jon Dorsey explains to People why they chose not to have the brothers immediately reconnect.

“To me, it felt like we owed it, for sure, for Randall and Kevin to have the conversation and story-wise, it felt like, naturally this episode just led to an opportunity to do that. Randall needed to go on a journey before they had the conversation,” Dorsey says. “It couldn’t happen too fast.”

Creator Dan Fogelman tweeted, “So @KayOyegun and I talked about doing this episode as we shot our season premiere, what feels like a lifetime ago now. We decided that if we did it, we’d have to let characters be exposed, and honest, and real. I’m quite proud of it, and her, and the entire team.”

Director Kay Oyegun tweeted, “Loved directing tonight’s #ThisIsUs, written by the dopest #JonDorsey and edited by queen #ErinWyatt. That’s a first – Black writer, director, editor. Swoon. 2 Corinthians 6:1 6 As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. It will never be in vain, lord.”

Viewers also took to Twitter to share their thoughts on how the important episode was handled. 

This Is Us returns May 11 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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