“I know that we all look alike, but damn!” Yesterday an all-white Fox & Friends crew had eggs all over their faces Sunday when they interviewed Anthony Anderson,* an African-American star of Law & Order (as its Det. Kevin Bernard). As co-anchor Dave Briggs began to ask Anderson about the long-running NBC drama that had been canceled, producers aired an old picture of the L&O cast. Unfortunately, the photo featured Anderson’s predecessor on the program, the popular Jesse L. Martin (L&O‘s Det. Ed Green) who left the show in 2008.
When the pic appeared on the screen, Anderson exclaimed, “That’s the wrong black man!” As Dave bowed his head in obvious embarrassment and fellow co-host Alisyn Camerota and Clayton Morris recoiled in similar abashment, Anderson iterated, “That’s the wrong black man!…I know we all look alike, but damn! Who is that?”
Reddened, Aly laughed, “Oh, my gosh! That is who you were playing.” Undeterred, Anderson continued, “Did I lose that much weight that I look like Jesse L. Martin?” Acknowledging the gaffe, Aly exclaimed, “Oh, my god!”
Trying to regain control of the interview and to save some face, Dave declared, “Anthony, let me ask you though, as we try to turn the page from that error [or “era”], now [that] Law & Order has been canceled and it’s left a void in people’s lives…are you feeling that void?” As Anderson answered, producers ran a vid including footage of Jesse L. Martin interspersed with clips of Anderson.
When Anderson had finished his reply, Clayton queried, “Now let’s just be clear. That is the correct video, right?” Shaking his head, Anderson retorted, “No that wasn’t.” Seeing Martin onscreen, Anderson shouted, “No. Who is that? Who is that? That is not. I have a beard, not a goatee! You are running the wrong B roll, Fox!”
As an interspersed clip of Anderson appeared without Martin in the scene, Aly asserted, “There you are. There you are. That’s you in a cameo not speaking. Perhaps, trying to provide his producers more cover, Dave declared, “You were in the room.” Clayton echoed, “You were in the room with him.” Rolling his eyes, Anderson facetiously retorted, “Yeah, I guess.”
Later, when the interview began to conclude, Aly jested, “Well, thanks, so much for being here, Anthony Edwards. Just kidding!” Riantly, Anderson riposted, “Anthony Edwards? You might as well now call me Ice Cube. Don’t call me Gerald Lavert, Reuben Studdard, [or] any other black man with a beard or a goatee or a mustache.” Then, as Aly howled in laughter and Anderson shook his head in an admixture of amusement and bemusement, Clayton comically concluded, “Anthony Edwards from ER, great to see you. We’ll be right back.”
Perhaps, with a person of color in the cast soon?