We had the opportunity to talk with Kym Whitley recently about her new show, Raising Whitley,which debuts on OWN this Saturday night (4/20) at 10PM. The funny, talented, and driven quadruple-threat actress, producer, director and stand-up comedienne will chronicle her everyday life as she raises baby Joshua, who she unexpectedly gained custody of. Joshua’s birth mother was a young woman that Kym mentored who left the hospital immediately following Joshua’s birth, only leaving behind Kym’s contact info. Wow! We can’t wait to tune in and support a woman who has provided us with so much entertainment over the years, and take a peak into her world.
Below are pieces from our interview, the full video of the interview, and the trailer for Raising Whitley.
For our readers who haven’t seen the previews or the clips, what is Raising Whitley and how did the idea for the show come about?
Raising Whitley is a docu-series about my son Joshua and myself. Joshua is adopted and he came to me quickly, within an hour. So it also shows the village I created to help me raise Joshua.
What can people expect to get out of watching the show and being able to see you in this reality setting, that they may not have seen otherwise watching you in movies or TV?
Very good question! Well what people can get from the show is what I like to call the two L’s: they are going to laugh a lot and they’re going to learn. Well I’m going to say three L’s because then they’re going to love it! How about that [laughs]? They are just going to have a good time but they will learn about how to create a village. I want to help single parents to figure that out, and know they don’t have to do it all on their own, that it’s okay to ask for help. If they need to, they can build their own village. Their village doesn’t have to be eight people. It can be two people, whatever it is that they need. I really hope that this show inspires people. I’d also like it to take away the stigma of adoption and that adopted people are special.
What was the first thing that went through your head when you got that call from the hospital telling you there was a baby waiting for you?
[Laughs] The first thing that went through my head was – RUN! That’s a tough one because if you think about your life; you’re doing your own thing, partying every day and then someone calls and says, ‘Hey, we have a baby for you’. Wait a minute…is that a human that moves? That eats? What are you talking about? It’s a tremendous responsibility and commitment. Commitment is a problem for me. I was afraid but my parents were there and they guided me.
So sorry to hear about the passing of your mom and I know she played a major role in your decision to take Joshua in. How did your upbringing prepare you for the instant mom you’ve become?
I had the most loving upbringing, not spoiled but rich. I traveled the world, lived everywhere, was taught things. We never locked our door at home. All of my friends could come over and spend the night any time they wanted to. It was a very free and loving environment.
In reading some of the online forums and blogs, a lot of fans are so excited for you. One of main discussions I’m seeing are fans wondering how the adoption process has gone (or is going), and also if you’ve spoken to his birth mother?
Yes, like I said, everything was preordained. The adoption process happened in six months, so for it to happen so quickly, I mean, come on. But she’s fine and she checks in with him.
Check out the rest of my interview here —> BMWK Interview with Kym Whitley
Congratulations again Kym and we’ll be looking forward to tuning in. The Series Premiere of Raising Whitley: Saturday, April 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
Watch the sneak peek below and then let me know if you will be tuning in to watch Raising Whitley?
Raising Whitley Trailer: