Judge Greg Mathis may be famous for laying down the law in his courtroom, but as he puts it, “When the robe comes off, I’m just another sucka.” Now, he aims to prove it on his reality show Mathis Family Matters, which is available to stream on Universal+. The series follows the Judge and his wife Linda, along with their four children: Jade, Camara, Greg, and Amir as they navigate life in Hollywood. The episodes are full of fun, big laughs, and family love. Mathis Family Matters also dives into careers, relationships, personalities, and off-the-wall dynamics of the Mathis family.
Judge Mathis tells it like it is
What can viewers expect on this new show?
Throughout the series, you’ll find a family of black professionals who face obstacles and strive to uplift their communities. We want folks to know that no matter how high or low you go, you can come up and succeed – and you will have the same issues. Our family deals with challenges such as the attacks against my son regarding the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual+ (LGBTQIA+) community, my other son had a learning disorder, my own struggles with Attention Deficit Disorder, and mental health challenges. On the other hand, you will also see that Judge Mathis, who has so much authority in the office, is the complete opposite at home. I receive the orders, I get no decision-making power, and I get clowned on. I think the viewers are going to find that interesting.
When you started your career in the legal sector, did you imagine the possibility of balancing entertainment and legal, as you are?
I grew up in an impoverished neighbourhood and sought to empower oppressed communities. In 1982, during my second year of college, I was sparked and motivated by the oppression in South Africa, so I began to fight against apartheid in the USA. Subsequently, I started in politics, working for Reverend Jesse Jackson for many years. I am now the Chairman of the Board for his organisation. I worked in South Africa and met Nelson Mandela – one of the most cherished moments of my life. Later, I became involved in social justice, fighting for equality, and represented youth as a criminal and constitutional lawyer. This was when I saw that I could make a difference as a decision-maker behind the bench. Hollywood likes a success story, so after a few years, I left because Hollywood came calling and wanted to chronicle my journey. My motivation for coming to television was to show my journey and to entertain.
How do you aim to inspire people through your new show?
As part of the Mathis community service efforts, viewers can expect to see our family helping other people overcome challenges. We have the Mathis Community Centre in Detroit, which we founded and operate. At this centre, we invite ex-offenders and encourage them. I seek to be a leader in my community, so I can change lives and uplift others out of poverty.
What was your wife and children’s reaction to the offer to do Mathis Family Matters?
All of us turned it down. It came from our youngest, Amir. None of us were anxious to do it because we didn’t want to go into our private lives. There are 10,000 shows pitched a year, with only 50 new ones getting the green light, so I didn’t expect it to happen. We were surprised by the call-back, but now that the show has started, our fears of privacy invasion have diminished. The impact it has had on society has been greater than I imagined. It was important to show the obstacles we face and how we overcome and support each other.
Are there certain things in the show that are off-limits?
No, but viewers will see that we are a family that does not fight. We advise, challenge, and support each other. There won’t be high-level arguing, instead, you will see disagreements, discussions, and even clowning about each other’s situations or obstacles. Fighting and high-level arguing is out the door.