Season One of Hulu’s Woke ended with the flick of the wrist as droplets of beer from Lamorne Morris‘ Keef Knight landed on officer Wyatt as an act of defiance. It was a small act but a powerful one, as Keef finds the courage to stand up for himself against the racist police officer who assaulted him at the beginning of season one. Despite being thrown in jail, it is at this moment Keef is anew; finally comfortable with himself again.
Since the incident, the apolitical artist-turned-activist has accumulated following thrusting him into the social media influencer stratosphere, but it is what Keef does not tweet in season two that can make a real difference. Along with his friends, including Gunther, played by Blake Anderson, who is going through a crisis of his own, they are determined to make a new path for themselves that hopefully defines them for the better.
The Koalition spoke with Lamorne and Blake about season two to learn more about what’s next for their characters after season one’s awakening, the weight of artivism, Gunther and Clovis‘ relationship, how their characters find their purpose and dissecting the phrase “all oppressions matters.”
Season 2 starts off with a humorous and well-layered bang as it tackles the concept of checking your privilege and the downsides of being the ‘wokest of the woke’ as Keef wades through the ocean of political activism (now considered art-civism), balancing staying true to himself and pleasing others.
“I think he definitely stays true to who he is and it’s not easy. It’s not a smooth journey. It mocks or mirrors the journey most people go through when you’re trying to figure out who you are and you’re trying to transition into something else. It’s not smooth, it’s not easy, it’s always met with resistance. The journey is always the road to where you’re trying to go [and] if it’s easy, it might not be worth the travel. You [have to] go through some bumps and bruises in order to get to that prize, and I think he has to stay true to himself otherwise it’s not worth it.”
Social media was once a go-to place for Keef to share his voice. Representing the voiceless is now filled with tension and stress as every moment, tweet and hashtag brings him closer to being cancelled. In the dawn of “all oppressions matter, police brutality is out (and also still in) as other voices want Keef to carry the banner for their social justice issues. Well-meaning white people now brace the streets cautiously as they declare “Black Lives Matter” and Justice for Breonna Taylor while clutching their purse in fear of the next Black man. With newfound pressure, Keef must balance staying true to himself and his message while balancing larger issues within the “Woke” landscape. All while trying not to embarrass himself nor his brand, even if that brand isn’t fully defined.
Reflecting upon Keef’s season two journey, Lamorne notes Keef’s definition of being ‘woke’ has changed. “He thought he had one idea of what it was, and it was ‘oh my God, police brutality is real’ and then it turned into ‘oh my God, there’s other problems, like there are other things people are dealing with out here too, oh my God this is just the beginning.’ So, he has to figure out what his level is on a scale and how much he’s willing to dive into it.”
“There’s a lot of pressure with the folks [who] are on social media, and [what’s going on] around him and in his neighborhood. There [is] the pressure for him to do more and to do better. [There is pressure] to be this voice and the spokesperson or this ‘Wokesperson’ but he doesn’t know if that’s his calling. Maybe he’s better suited just being a regular dude and when you watch the show, you’ll figure which road he chooses.”
Season two also expands the life of Gunther, the white stoner roommate who might just be the most oblivious “ally” of all. While supporting Lamorne, Gunther goes through a quarter/mid-life crisis, realizing he needs to find a purpose in his life. While his temporary solution is to hoard possibly stolen plants, hoping to avoid his feelings, his goal sees him attempting to become something more in life than just someone who exist.
“Gunther feels the need to have a purpose and know what direction his life is going. Sometimes the direction your life is going is just learning and it’s the process. The road you’re traveling is not necessarily the destination you’ll get there,” said Blake.
“You’re [going to] explore along with him on his journey to find purpose in his world and his friendships. Gunther is more confused than ever but at the base of everything he has a really good group of friends with him.”
This also affects the relationship he has with Clovis as fans will see a shift in their dynamic. Blake elaborated with, “You see a different side of Clovis this season[as] he starts to find a more sensitive side. [Clovis and Gunther] cross in the middle and then start to go to each other’s corners a little bit. [Overall,] I’m really excited for people who are fans of the Clovis character. T. Murph [is] so hilarious [and] in season two they reveal a lot about Clovis, [his] family. It’s a lot of really fun stuff.
To learn more about Woke season two, check out our full interview in the video above.