Pride Month this year has seen a little bit of everything. There have been celebrities such as Taylor Swift taking political stances. Ellen Page and Emma Portner posted artful pictures of them caressing on Instagram. Straight celebrities have presented themselves as allies. There’s been a lot of positivity.
Actor Marlon Wayans, however, chose to fight a slew of negative comments made about his daughter Amai Zackary. He posted a picture on Instagram earlier in the week of his daughter wearing rainbow sneakers, a symbol associated with the LGBTQ community, with the caption:
Happy pride ? to my pride and joy. I wouldn’t change one effing thing about you. Love you to the moon around the sun through the galaxies and back again.
He responded to a few of the ensuing negative comments. Here’s what you need to know about that, as well as the 19-year old Amai.
1. He Didn’t Delete the Comments Because He Wanted “The World to See the Ignorance” That Still Exists
Wayans strongly replied to three comments, in particular. The first was simple enoughL @patriarchal_leadership commented “Damn unfollow. Sad s–t.” The 46-year old actor shot back “bye” alongside the wave emoji.
Next, @chizz401 stated that Amai, nearly 20 years old, does not have the necessary life experience to make her own decisions on her sexuality. “She’s not old enough to understand what that’s really all about. You have the power to change lives Bro, don’t teach her that.”
“she’s 19,” Wayans replied. “She’s who she is until or until she don’t chose different. Love her for her not what i want her to be.”
Lastly, user @3mdh5 criticized (in broken English) Wayans’ parenting skills and warned that his daughter couldn’t have children with another woman. It is not clear from Wayans’ original post if his daughter is lesbian or bisexual. Wayans told the user to “Go hate on your own kids.”
When one user suggested that Wayans simply delete the negative comments, he explained his approach.
“i thought of erasing them but i need the world to see the ignorance that still exist. Objective without obstacles is a worthless triumph. We all will some day get to unconditional love. Because of my daughter i am one step closer. i am not God, i don’t judge i just LOVE. And still pray for the haters because i refuse to judge them too i just love.”
2. Amai Goes to the University of Southern California
Naturally, since Wayans lives in Los Angeles, Amai Zackary is a student at the University of Southern California. She just finished her freshman year, as he announced her acceptance on Instagram in March 2018.
“When your daughter gets accepted to #usc go Trojans!!! #proudpapa congrats my love. I told you … you’re amazing! #blackexcellence”
She does not seem to have any of her own social media presence on Facebook or Instagram. She has made public appearances with her dad at movie premieres, such as the one for “50 Shades of Black” in 2016.
3. Marlon Had Amai & His Son Shawn With Ex-Wife Angelica Zackary
Marlon fathered Amai and his 17-year old son Shawn with his ex-wife Angelica Zackary (where Amai gets her middle name). While the marriage is no longer a thing, the former couple approach divorced life from a friendly place towards each other and their children.
“God is good to have blessed my life with you,” he wrote to her on Instagram on her birthday in 2018. “So sweet so real so smart. You made me two beautiful children and in spite of all my f–k ups you remain in my life as one of my best friends. Love bends and has not broken.”
According to Madame Noire, his mistakes include cheating on her with another woman on a yacht in 2013. While that proved to be the impetus for their divorce, he insists that he still goes on dates with Zackary.
“We go to dinner, we go to the movies, we hang out, we laugh,” he said. “Now, she won’t give me none, but that’s OK.”
He has been linked to “Marlon” co-star Essence Atkins.
4. Marlon Likes to be “Friends” With His Children
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight ahead of his new show “Marlon” in 2017, he differentiated his parenting style with the more inexperienced character he played on the NBC show.
“I stopped being their dad a long time ago. I was like, ‘We’re going to be friends,'” said Wayans of his 15-year-old son Shawn, and 17-year-old daughter, Amai. “As a dad I don’t want to be all possessive like, ‘Who you talking to? I want to meet ’em!’ I don’t want to be sitting there shining bullets. No, I’m going to be your friend.”
He suggests that this approach works once there’s a trusting relationship between parent and child.
“At a point when they become teenagers and they’re dealing with real stuff, you have to have real conversations,” he explained. “Because what you don’t want is sneaky kids. If you tell me what’s poppin’, I can protect you. But don’t come to me after the fact. If you come to me and say, ‘Dad, I’m thinking about having sex,’ I’m like, ‘OK, well here’s what you need to do.'”
5. Amai’s Brother Shawn is a Good Basketball Player
Complex captured footage of Amai’s brother Shawn playing basketball in 2015, and the youngster was described by his father as a “young Steph Curry.”
We’ve already seen what LeBron James’ son can do on the basketball court. And 50 Cent’s son. And Manute Bol’s son. And Jason Williams’ son. Now we get the chance to see what Marlon Wayans’ 12-year-old son Shawn Wayans (named after his uncle) can do.
Kid’s obviously got handle, but the impressive part has got to be that defense. Twelve years old and already dropping dimes and stripping guys on a chase down?
Don’t know if he’s a “young Steph Curry,” but either way America needs a celebrity youth basketball league reality show STAT.
Marlon has posted videos of Shawn on Instagram, with one showing him “driving to the hoop.”