‘This Is Us’: Asante Blackk’s Comments About Malik Basically Prove He’s the Next Jack

We’re well into This Is Us Season 4, but fans are still hung up on Asante Blackk’s introduction as Malik, Deja’s (Lyric Ross) new love interest. In the premiere, viewers found out Malik is a single teenage father. And it seems like Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) are not on board. However, in a recent interview, Blackk opened up about his character, and the 18-year-old actor’s comments essentially proved Malik is the next Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia).

Why Asante Blackk thinks Malik’s story on ‘This Is Us’ is important

When speaking with The Real, Blackk was asked why he loves to play Malik, a 16-year-old father of a 6-month-old baby girl. And the actor revealed he wants to tell stories with meaning, which dates back to his role as Kevin Richardson on When They See Us.

“I think it’s very important to continue to tell stories that aren’t shown all the time,” he said. “Starting off with When They See Us, the story about the Exonerated Five, and how people knew about that story, but they didn’t know the details.”

Blackk then delved into why Malik’s character is so crucial for This Is Us audiences to see. He explained:

Now, I think [This Is Us] is so important because there’s a stereotype about black fathers not being there for their kids. And I think it’s super important because we really want to show the nuances of human life and show that everything is so much deeper than it really seems. It’s really important to show a black father, who’s a teenager, who acknowledges he made a mistake. But he doesn’t see his daughter as a mistake. So he takes responsibility for his actions and steps up to the plate.

‘This Is Us’ fans react to Asante Blackk’s comments about Malik

Asante Blackk as Malik on 'This Is Us' Season 4
Asante Blackk as Malik on ‘This Is Us’ | Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Following Blackk’s incredible statement about Malik on The Real, This Is Us fans couldn’t help but applaud the actor on social media.

“He said ‘he acknowledges he MADE a mistake but doesn’t see his daughter AS a mistake’ and I dropped my coffee,” one fan on Reddit wrote. “What an amazing statement.”

“Proud of This is Us for bringing his role in,” another Redditor shared.

And of course, some viewers took Blackk’s comments to help them decipher what’s coming next for Malik and Deja.

“That’s awesome and I can’t WAIT to see where Malik and Deja go,” a user wrote, wondering if Malik would still seek a more “lucrative” job — like the drug dealing hinted in the premiere. However, the fan also noted that Blackk’s interview “makes it sound very positive. So hopefully it stays that way!”

“I know TIU doesn’t shy away from ugly truths, tragedy, etc,” the fan continued. “But it would be great an ‘against all odds’ kind of story and he grows into a fine man who is a good father, husband, provider, etc.”

Meanwhile, other fans pointed out that Blackk’s remarks about Malik prove that his character is the perfect candidate for the next Jack.

“I’m calling it now,” a fan wrote. “Malik is the new Jack. He’s gonna be the king of grand gestures, and he’s gonna make Randall and Beth fall in love with him.”

What’s next for Malik and Deja on ‘This Is Us’

Although fans can merely speculating what’s to come at this point, it seems more development is on the horizon for Malik and Deja. On Nov. 4, Blackk teased the upcoming episode of This Is Us, titled “The Dinner and the Date.”

“Taking a break from my social media break to quickly tell you guys that tomorrow’s [This Is Us] episode is VERY very special for Malik and Deja,” the actor wrote on Twitter. “You seriously will not want to miss it. very proud of it.”

Meanwhile, in a clip courtesy of TVLine, viewers see that Randall has hatched up a plan to split Malik and Deja up. “There’s a boat,” Randall explained to Beth. “You and I are in the boat. The plan is to get Malik’s parents to join us in said boat. Destination: Splittsville Dejik!”

However, Beth is keeping an open mind, hoping to get to know Malik’s parents before making any decisions about the kids. “The only way we’re gonna get through this is an open mind,” she said calmly. “And red wine. Lots of red wine.”

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Who's rooting for Deja and Malik? #ThisIsUs

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Regardless, it seems like Deja and Malik will still have a chance to experience a lighthearted romance on This Is Us, away from all the drama presented earlier this season. When speaking with ABC News, writer Kay Oyegun touched on what’s coming when the young couple goes on their date in the Nov. 5 episode.

“You get this lovely romance between these two kids that we rarely see, that kind of space for young black kids that’s not surrounded by violence, that’s not surrounded by hardness or pain or tragedy,” Oyegun said. “It’s really the simplicity of what it means to engage with someone you like, and in the most basic sense of the word.”

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