Alice Walker explores the people we watch on television, thinking we know them, but in reality they are strangers to us. The viewer finds ways to exploit other people's stories to be amused. The story explores how we turn our noses down on people whom we think wear a mask of no regard, but in reality they are gifted by talents of their own.
You've no doubt seen those TV shows where the child who has "made it" is confronted, as a surprise, by her own mother and father, tottering in weakly from backstage. (A pleasant surprise, of course: What would they do if parent and child came on the show only to curse out and insult each other?) On TV mother and child embrace and smile into each other's faces. Sometimes the mother and father weep, the child wraps them in her arms and leans across the table to tell how she would not have made it without their help. I have seen these programs.