Anthony Anderson Q&A: ‘Black-ish’
“In terms of the election that was something that [series creator and writer Kenya Barris] decided he wanted to do,” says Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) about the January episode “Lemons,” which dealt with the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. “Like most Americans they thought Hillary was a shoo-in, and when that didn’t happen there was a collective gasp.” Watch our complete interview with Anderson above.
Trump’s victory was a surprise, so the turnaround on the episode was quick in order to premiere it on January 11, just nine days before Trump’s inauguration. “We’re not ‘Law & Order’ so we don’t grab things from the headlines,” Anderson explained, “but some of the things that we do address happen to be going on in our lives and happened to be going on in the lives of people globally … I think Kenya was able to articulate the collective feelings of a mass of people after this election happened … I breathed life into those words from my own experience and passion, how I was feeling, how my family and friends were feeling, so not only was I speaking for the character, I was speaking for myself and for a lot of other people.”
Anderson has been busy all season not only with “Black-ish” but also the revival of the classic game show “To Tell the Truth,” which first premiered way back in 1956. “It’s a great time that we’re having,” he says of his hosting gig. “I get to employ my mother and have her work alongside me on the show. We’re coming back. We’re shooting another 13 installments in late June to have out during the summer, so the show has been well received, we’re having a great time doing it and look forward to doing more.”
Anderson’s mother Doris Day Bowman was brought onto “To Tell the Truth” as scorekeeper after her scene-stealing appearance with Anderson on “Celebrity Family Feud,” and working with family has its perks. Anderson jokes, “If it means us cutting a check then let’s do it because it means that’s one less check I have to write every month for my mother.”