Those Little Colored People And Orlando Jones – Michael Davis, From The Edge

ORLANDO ARTMichael Davis writes  – and created the accompanying art…

Orlando Jones is a genuine superstar.

A superstar by definition is one who has done major work and has been recognized for such across several entertainment platforms. Orlando's body of work includes, movies, television, radio and stand up to name just a few.

Currently staring in the mega hit, Sleepy Hollow on FOX he's also a gifted writer, producer and with few (if any) exceptions one of the best pitchmen in the game.

Orlando changed that game with his groundbreaking commercials for 7up.

He single handily made the 'Make 7 Up Yours' slogan a national catch phrase appearing in commercials wearing a t-shirt that said 'Make 7' on the front and 'Up yours' on the back, from 1999 to 2002.

The guy even writes and produces music.

Unlike many a big name actor whose vanity dictates they cut an album, that even if good- (YEAH RIGHT! Bah…hahahahahahahahahaha!)-No one will take seriously, Orlando is a serious musician.

But wait, there's more. Mr. Jones and company also produced a ground breaking graphic novel. The book, Tainted Love, is so good it should put those in the industry producing shit on notice. If those producing shit ever noticed anything good.

Orlando is a true Renaissance man, he's earned his success and I hate him.

I kid! I joke. I don't hate Orlando…much.

Always a positive force whatever the environment he's the kind of guy easy to like even if you are the kind of person who does not like people, easy to like, like me. Those types of guys are always in control and seem to handle any situation well. That was not the case a few weeks ago when he and I met up to hang.

I've known him to have a drink or two but never and I mean never to the extent I was watching him drink now. "Orlando!" I said, "Come on man, don't do this yourself." Turning his head to look at me, a remarkable accomplishment in his condition, Orlando said; "NO! How can they DO this to me?"

I think that's what he said.

He could have said, "HO! Get over here and DO me." I can't really be sure because when he spoke, 1800 with a Colt 45 chaser sprayed my face and I admittedly was a bit more concerned about cooties.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking and I agree. Colt 45, its downright, upright.

I spent the better part of an hour trying to decipher what he was upset about while at the same time telling the small but growing crowd the guy yelling, 'All I DID WAS LOVE YOU' at his iPhone was Tyler James Williams, the star of, Everybody Hates Chris all grown up.

Give that a second…

Eventually I figured out, between breaks of washing more cooties off my face, what Orlando was so upset about. Last year he announced on The Arsenio Hall Show a groundbreaking idea that none, save him, gave thought too. The moment you hear it, your first thought will be, why didn't anyone think of that before?

Multi cultural emoji.

In the age of Obama HOW is it possible no one thought of this before?!

Almost a year ago Orlando told me of his intention to create and distribute the designs he thought up. He'd been working on it for a year before that.

True to his word, Orlando premiered his brainchild to the world during a September 2014 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show.

This is the sort of thing that propels a new level of respect onto a person already with an exceptional career, not an easy thing to accomplish by any means. Orlando deserves that kind of respect, he puts in the work and as such he's managed to create and more importantly sustain his very impressive brand.

Think how cool it will be to tell your friend something they, never in a million years, would have thought. " Did you know Orlando Jones invented the multi cultural emoji?" You say, with a smile, to that girl or boy you're been trying to woo for god knows how long

"Did you know you're an idiot?" Is the answer from your now will never be ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. "Apple created the multi cultural emoji."

Apple does indeed have a new set of 'kinda' multi cultural emoji. Like the original Black GI Joe Apples emoji are just darker yet completely the same as their white counterparts.

Orlando's emoji have the true flavor of people of color and I'm pretty damn sure Mr. Jones was first. In fact according to Apple they started working on those little colored people (my words) a year after Orlando did.

I'M NOT BY ANY MEANS SAYING APPLE STOLE THE IDEA, why you even thinking that?

Don't get me wrong; I'm an Apple whore. The other day I found a brand new Mac Mini I forgot I brought. Still in the Mac bag in my studio I wondered if I had also purchased a monitor.

I had. I told you, I'm a Mac whore. A dirty little whore and I need help.

I have and will defend my Mac style (get it?) to any who dare question why but, fair is fair. It's conceivable that someone from Apple got wind of Orlando's idea and decided it was a great one. If that's what happened, not saying it did, there's nothing criminal about it,

F—ed up? Yep. Criminal? Nah. The reality people is this, you cannot copyright an idea. All who think you can, y'all just stupid. I mean, damn, really?

Earlier in this piece I recounted Orlando's reaction to the news that Apple was rolling out its diverse emoji. That, as most of you realized, was satire it never happened. I can only imagine his reaction. I know a bit about seeing something you created getting away from you through no fault of your own. That my friend hurts, man does it hurt.

Not sure what Orlando's plans are with his emoji. I just wanted to give the brother his due regardless. He created something wonderful that, along with his outstanding career are worthy of my and I think the world's respect.

Orlando, try as some might, no one can take that away from you.


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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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