a_files06 (a_files06) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
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The Token: Popular 90s black actors talk about being the only black actor on a 'white' show




-90s actors Phil Morris, Biance Lawson, Vanessa A. Williams, Markus Redmond, Kenn Michael, Kim Coles, Tangi Miller, and Shaun Baker discuss their experiences in tv where often times they were the token black character.


-Phil Morris talks about having dinner with Aaron Spelling & Darren Star wherein he told them that they needed more black actors on their show. They told him that it was all casting! They would love to have him on the show! They would write a role for him! When he went out for a role on the show later on he was informed that he wasn't right for it and that they wanted a white actor.

-Bianca Lawson was originally offered for the role of Cordelia Chase on BTVS but turned down the role to star in a black sitcom 'Goode Behavior' (that lasted for 23 episodes) where the producers had kept their word and wrote her a part for the series. She came back to Buffy to play the Vampire Slayer known as Kendra. She hoped that the role would last longer but it ended up only being a 4 episode stint. Being the first black actress on Buffy and Dawsons Creek never really occurred to her when she was younger.

-Vanessa A. Williams who was in the first season of Melrose Place speaks about sitting down with Darren Star and asking him to change her characters reaction to the LA riots who originally distanced herself from the black community.

-Shaun Baker talks about his experience on the set of VIP where he was a full time cast member. In his history of acting if they couldn't "find" a black stunt double for action scenes they would have the white stunt doubles don black face. For VIP they stated that they couldn't find a black circus performers to stunt for a scene he was to be in. He refused to have a white performer pretend to be black and demanded to be written out of the scene if they couldn't find a black performer for the stunt. They ended up writing him out of the scene.

The rest can be found at the source.

Source
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Tags: 1990s, actor / actress, black celebrities, buffyverse / whedonverse, melrose place (cw), television
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