A Different World (1987–1993): Season 6, Episode 4 - Somebody Say Ho! - full transcript

Everybody goes to court when one of the students is called a 'ho'.

Whoo, lord!

Look at my wife.

£she can bring home the bacon £

£ fry it up in a pan £

£ and never, never, never
let me forget I'm the man. £

go ahead, baby... orange juice.

Treat me like a king.

Baby, if I live to be a thousand

I will never see a happier day.

Mmm, hot coffee.

Woman, you make it
so easy to be me.

Mmm, mmm, mmm.

£ ooh £

£ I know my parents loved me £

£ stand behind me
come what may £

£ come what may £

£ I realize that I'm ready £

£ I'm ready £

£ 'cause I finally
heard them say £

£ I heard them say £

£ it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ from where you come from £

£ it's a different world £

£ oh, now,
here's our chance to make it £

£ here's our chance £

£ if we focus on our goal £

£ focus on our goal £

£ if you dish it,
we can take it £

£ we can take it £

£ just remember
that you've been told £

£ that it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ oh, it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ from where you come from £

£ it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ from where you come from £

£ it's a different world £

£ from where you come from,
yeah. £

we know... glory, glory...

That liberation is righteous
and our freedom is thy will.

Yo, yo!

Can we get an amen?

Thou ain't with cold oatmeal.

Be quiet, you hungry heathen.

Come on, baby,
grace us with your grace.

Thank you, lord.

You did not bring us
this far to leave us.

And the lord's people
said, "amen."




Dorian, you're down
for a tutoring session.

Although I have no reservations
about assisting my classmates

c.p. Time is intolerable.

4:30 sharp, Charmaine.

It is a blessing to be friends

with the smartest
sister in class.

Thank you.
Thank you.

Another thing, Dorian.

Would you talk to that
inconsiderate roommate of yours?

Some of us do not wish to hear

that gold-tooth music
blasting all night.

Speak for yourself, miss thing.

Why don't we just drop
this 90210 facade?

Neither of us has

a silver spoon in our mouth
or a gold tooth.

You really shouldn't
play it so loud.

And what's that...
The 11th commandment?

Charmaine, I study too,
and I like kriss kross.

Those little kids help me think.

I do not intend to "jump"
or "warm it up" all night long.

Trust me.

Warming it up all night should
be the least of your fears.

You are so crazy.

God will punish you.

The probability

that the democrats
or Republicans

will pick an African-American
presidential candidate

in the 20th century
is one out of a thousand.

Woo! It's good to see

somebody's got blood
flowing through their head.

The rest of y'all
got your brains in the pawnshop.

That's a joke.

Forget you slow monsters.

Let's try another one.

If 40% of...


Charmaine. Charmaine.

Why don't you let me
ask the question first?

Okay, that makes sense.

Go ahead, Mr. Wayne.

If 40%
of entering college students

never get degrees,
what's the probability

that out of six students,
half will have one?

Uh... Terrell, my brother,

how do we solve this?

We bust the binomial
probability function

because, one: The selection
of six students

is a sequence
of success-failure trials.

Each trial is independent
of the other trials.

The probability of success

is the same in every trial.


fresh out of the pawnshop.

Work it out on the board.

No, no, that's all right.

I wouldn't want to step
on miss Charmaine's toes.

Miss Charmaine.

Anything to assist
the educational process.

What's so funny?

Hey, hey, hey!

The joke is over.

"Digit h-h..."

Who did this?

Terrell Walker.

Charmaine, easy.

what does "digit ho" mean?

I guess it means she'll do
anything for a math problem.

You're not letting
that hood get
away with that.

Hood! Who you calling a hood?

Easy! Easy!

This is not junior high.

You owe her an apology.

For what?

Come on, man.


Charmaine, I'm very, very sorry.


Class dismissed!

Let me at him!

Get in the corner.

Get in the corner. Back up.

Get in the corner.

Easy, Charmaine. Just breathe.

Charmaine, just breathe.

Just breathe, just breathe.

Just breathe.

Go get some water.

What is the matter with you?

I'm sorry

but she shouldn't have
called me no hood.

I don't care
what she called you.

You are a man, boy.

Come on, man,
why you trying to play me?

I know you wanted to laugh
when you saw that sign.

What you better know
is that if you ever

get out of line in my class
like that again...

You understand me?

Yeah, I hear you.

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Pardon me, my brother.

Perhaps this will get you

through the day.


Homemade cookies.

Homemade Christian cookies.

See, this right here...

This are the ten commandments.

And this right here is Jesus.

You gave Jesus a jheri curl?

That's an afro, fool.

You know... feet of brass,
hair like wool.

I do know my scriptures.

Gina, this is, uh...


Watch it, Terrell,
'cause god don't like ugly.

Then pray for salvation.

I demand he gets
what he deserves.

I'm not arguing with you.

You're right, he's wrong.

Beyond that, what can I do?

Do I detect a problem

or am I just hearing
a loud mouth?

During my statistics class

another student got up
and called me a h-h-h...

A hussy?

A h-h...

A heifer?

Try again, Dean.

A ho?

Oh, damn!
That was my next guess.

What kind of a little pig

would call you
something like this?

Terrell Walker, a born thug.

Dean, how will he
be disciplined?

Just a minute.

One reason parents send
their kids off to school

is so they can learn to solve
their own problems

without running to mommy, daddy,
or the Dean of students.

But it could be argued
that her rights

as a student have been violated.

How? It was just one word.

Student policy.
A student is punishable

for any verbal
or physical behavior

that stigmatizes an individual

based on race,
religion, or gender.

I know the law,
miss Anita hillman.

I'm concerned if we condone
the use of derogatory words

against female students,
they'll think

they can use derogatory words
against female faculty.

Oh, well...

Then I'll just have
to check into this.

This guy right here
is a trip... this brother.

One of your pupils?


This afternoon he put a sign
on Charmaine's back that said

"digit ho," 'cause she'll do
anything for a math problem.

Oh, no.

What is the punch line?

"Digit ho"... she'll do anything
for a math problem?

I find that joke
juvenile and deplorable

and so is your sense of humor.

You are a teacher now.

If you didn't set
that boy straight, I will.

Oh, no, no, stop it.

What are you going to do...
Make him drink your coffee?

Mr. Wayne,
so glad to have run into you.

Yes, whitley and I

were just about to have
something to eat.

Do you want to join us?

Would you like some swine?

Well... as appetizing
as that sounds, I'll pass.

Would that young man
happen to be Terrell Walker?

Yeah. 1500
on his s.A.T.'S.

Hey, Terrell,
come here for a second.

This is my wife, whitley Wayne.

How do? How do?

And this is Dean Davenport.

I got to tell you,
I like your style.

You've got it going on.

That I do.

However, Charmaine brown

has officially filed
a complaint against you.

This is a summons
for you to appear

in hillman student court.


Wait, Dean.

Is this about..?

This is about
Mr. Walker creating

an uncomfortable environment

and inhibiting
another student's education.

You can't be serious.

Not to excuse what happened

but it was just a harmless joke.

Harmless? I don't think so.

It's bad enough when others
disrespect our people

but it's doubly offensive
when we do it to ourselves.

Now, Mr. Walker,
you can be certain

that this court is no joke.

Now, I may have it "going on..."

But if you're found guilty

you'll be going out.

We need to be patient
with Terrell.

For centuries

brothers have been
supreme targets for oppression.

To bloom,
a flower must be nurtured.

Sisters, don't give us
a lawnmower.

Give us sunlight and water.

Oh, please!

The sun has set
and the well is dry.

Maybe Shazza has a point.

Terrell probably
didn't even mean it.

How do you know?

If he did, we should turn
the other cheek, right, Dorian?

America has tried
to emasculate brothers

but we need to start turning
to our sisters and not on them.

That's why I'm defending
Charmaine at the trial.

If that was me,
it would have been on.

I would have clocked
the brother...

End of story.

I know you would.

Well, I'm sorry I missed out

on your charm school training.

And you should be.

I tried to clock...

Terrell, can I have
a word with you?

What you got to say
won't even faze me.

I've been called everything

from pee wee Herman
to Rick James.

Has anyone said
they will represent you?

Oh, a trick question now.

Am I supposed to be impressed
by this macho bravado?

I know that
you are scared to death.

You need my help.

I'm a law student,
so I need the experience.

I know that representing you

is going to be like
representing the devil

but even the devil
has his side of the story

and it should be heard.

Why? It's an open-
and-shut case.

Miss nose-in-the-air
opens her mouth

and I'm supposed to shut mine.

You can get suspended.

Or worse, you can get
kicked out of school.

I know you are too smart
to let that happen.

Fine, you're my lawyer.

Ease up on the gratitude.

Dean Davenport

ladies and gentlemen
of the jury.

The prosecution
will attempt to convince you

that this is a case
about the rights of one student

Charmaine brown.


This is a case about the rights

of a student named
Terrell Walker...

A right which
we all hold very dearly...

Freedom of speech
and expression.

Now, doesn't freedom
of speech mean

that I have the right
to get angry

especially when I'm provoked?

Well, the laws of the land
say yes

but hillman's current policy
which was written 20 years ago

says no.

I say it is time to rewrite

these primitive
and archaic rules

and I shall prove this
in my defense.






I'll look a lot younger
kicking your butt.

Brothers and sisters,
forgive me.

Mr. Gaines has the right
to get angry.

I was...

I was out of line
and disrespectful.

Oh, but don't I have the right
to do that?

Or do you have the right
to be respected?

The defense says you don't

and the defense calls
our rules archaic.

Well, I think they promote unity
and upliftment.

You see, those of us
that do not respect our own

must be punished

because only a punk
would not recognize

that disrespecting ourselves
is ugly, stupid, and old.

Now, that's a smart young man.

I love my Freddie

but I think she's in
over her head.

As my first witness

I would like to call
professor Wayne.


Mr. Wayne,
what was Terrell's response

when you asked him
to apologize to Charmaine?

He said, "I'm very,
very sorry... ho."

And did you have
to dismiss class... early?

Yeah, a few students

wanted to send him
on an ambulance ride.

Then it would be fair to say

that Terrell disrupted
the entire class.

Thank you.

Mr. Wayne, as the teacher

you set the overall tone
for the class?

What did you think

when you saw that sign
on Charmaine's back.

I felt it was deplorable

and juvenile.

I see.

How can you be
so certain, Mr. Wayne

that ho wasn't written as in
"ho, ho, ho, merry Christmas"?

Because Terrell said
that Charmaine

would do anything
for a math problem.

I get it.

It's deplorable,
but it's amusing.

Well, which
one is it?

Lunatic badgering the witness.

Sit down, whitley.

I thought the sign
was a joke at first...

Thank you, Mr. Wayne.

Charmaine, why did you come
to hillman college?

To help my family.

Everybody thinks I'm trying
to be a snob, but I'm not.

There's a lot
of competition out there

and I just want to be the best.

How did you feel

when Terrell called you
that obscene name?


Your witness... Freddie.

Charmaine, it is terrible
to be disrespected, isn't it?

Yes, it is.
Very terrible.

It is very terrible
to be belittled.

Doesn't it make you angry?


Weren't you trying
to elicit those feelings

by calling Terrell's music
"gold-tooth music"?

Or when you called him a hood?

I said that because he taped
that sign to my back.

It was his
stupid idea
of a joke.

I see. Charmaine...

Have you ever referred to
another woman as a ho?

Oh, sukie, sukie.

The court is waiting, Charmaine.

Well, I may have said something

on occasion or two,
but I was only joking.

Exactly what you said
Terrell was doing, joking.

Yeah, but...

Thank you.
No further questions.

I said no further questions.

All right, girl.
Get up out of
that chair.

You ain't under
the dryer at a
beauty salon.

Go on, sit down.

Now, Gina, you were there

when Terrell blurted out
that obscenity?

Yes, I was.

In your opinion, was he joking?


So you would say

it was an insult
rather than a joke?

Yes, but he meant it as a joke.

I don't really know.

When you saw Terrell
put that sign

on Charmaine's back,
were you amused?

I didn't really see him
put the sign on her back.

Well, then

one more question.

How did Charmaine feel
the rest of that day?

I could tell
she felt really, really bad.

Gina, I think the court
is moved by your honesty

and it's clear
that Terrell's joke

not only affected Charmaine,
but others as well.

Your witness, Freddie.

Come on, Freddie.

Gina, I would like to back up
a moment, please.

Where do you sit
in relation to Charmaine?

Sort of behind her.

How does one sit
"sort of behind" somebody?

Okay, then.
Right behind her.

I'm confused, Gina.

How could you sit
right behind her

and not see a sign
directly on her back?

I tend to get engrossed
in my class work.

Now, sister Gina

do you really expect
this court to believe

that sitting right behind her,
you didn't see the sign

nor did you see
Terrell put it there?

The light was bad?

Gina, it's starting
to make sense.

How do you feel
about your roommate, Gina?

According to my
client you can't
stand her.

That's not true.

Weren't you jealous
when Dorian called her

the smartest girl in class?


Didn't you try to gain
Dorian's affection

by baking him
a jheri-curled Jesus?

That was an afro!

Is it not true
that you've been Bible toting

ever since you found out
that boy went to church?

Which of the ten commandments
says, "thou shalt not lie"?

Okay, okay, okay, okay,
I did it!

I'm the one that put
the sign on her back.

I'm sorry, girl.

Oh, no!

Oh, no, girl.

Life is a funny thing, girl.

I'm confused.


Terrell, come up here.

Boy, why did you let
these people accuse you

of something you didn't do?

Let them?

If people start saying
you're mean

you going to stop
being who you are?

you should have told me.

I was representing you.

Although I did win

without the information.

Yeah, you asked me
every question

except did I write the sign.

You know, when I go
downtown to the mall

I know those people
see me as a hood

but I thought
it would be different

at a black college.

Now I know.

Charmaine, come up here.

Get over here.

Terrell, listen.

If you don't want people
to see you as a hood

then stop bopping around here

like you got swollen feet.

And the fact still remains

that you called her a whore.

Now, I suggest...
No, I warn you

never call a woman something

you wouldn't want somebody else
to call your mother.

And, Charmaine...

Honey, you don't have
to put others down

in order to rise to the top

and if you want to find
some common hoods to punish

do it in the upcoming election.

And dear, sweet Gina Deveaux...

Girl, come up here.

You are officially
on academic probation

and worse, on my list.

Girl, when I tell you to jump,
you'd better do it.

Yes, Dean.


Next time, ask how high.

And to the rest of you people...

Remember, a family
can never be united

with its brothers
and sisters divided.


Now unite and get out of here.

Terrell, I thought
I was supposed

to show you the way.

Seems like maybe I have
a thing or two to learn myself.

Are you going
to leave me hanging?

I should, shouldn't I?

All right, people.

This is not a networking party.

Put these tables and chairs
back where they belong.

Move, people!



Am I going to have
to do this alone?