‘This Is Us’: Sterling K. Brown Found He Now Has This 1 Strange Thing in Common With Rapper Ja Rule

NBC’s family drama, This Is Us, returned in season 5, with numerous Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) centered episodes. The series tackled the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the Black Lives Matter movement in the premiere. Throughout the season, the writers continued to tie in Randall’s feelings as a Black man adopted into a white family. In a recent interview with the actor, he realized that he now has something odd in common with rapper Ja Rule.

'This Is Us' actor Sterling K. Brown
‘This Is Us’ actor Sterling K. Brown | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Sterling K. Brown finds it hard to ‘represent all of Black America’ on ‘This Is Us’

This Is Us Season 5 delved straight into the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Brown’s character, Randall, was at the center of it all. The actor explained to ABC News how it felt to “represent all of Black America.”

He related to what Randall was going through with his TV siblings because many of his white friends asked the same thing.

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“‘What can I do? Let me know? Is there something I should be doing?'” Brown recalls his white friends asking. “It’s like, ‘Guys, I appreciate where your heart is, I really do, but I’ve got like every other white person calling me saying this. I need you to go pick up ‘White Fragility’ (by Robin DiAngelo.)'”

“‘I don’t know,'” he continued. “‘Do what you’ve got to do, but I kind of just need a break. You don’t realize you’re inundating me, in a very sweet way, but I’m still trying to figure out what my next step is.’ It’s hard enough to represent yourself rather than represent all of Black America.”

Brown finds he now has something in common with rapper Ja Rule

Brown struggled with This Is Us fans, viewers, and friends wanting to know his opinions on the Black Lives Matter movement. Then he admitted he now has something in common with rapper Ja Rule.

“There was this Dave Chappelle joke about how people always want to know what celebrities have to say, and MTV interviewed Ja Rule about 9/11,” Brown told the outlet. “And I’m like, ‘Am I Ja Rule now? Is this what’s happening to me?'”

In the joke, Chappelle wondered why anyone in America cared about the rapper’s thoughts on the 9/11 tragedy. Brown now wonders the same about himself. Since he’s a famous Black celebrity, everyone wants to know his thoughts on the movement. Although he thinks it’s strange why his opinion matters, he feels has to speak out.

“But I do feel like silence in the face of inequality is complicity, and I don’t want anyone to think I think the status quo is OK,” he continued. “So there is some pressure to have something to say. You want to inform yourself to what’s going on in the world, have an opinion, and be able to defend yourself.”

Brown doesn’t think that fans should worship the opinions of celebrities, but he feels since he has the platform, he will continue to speak out.