T.C. Carson sat down with Comedy Hype for an extensive interview where he revealed that he was fired from Living Single for speaking out on behalf of the cast, and subsequently “blackballed” from Hollywood.
According to Carson, the cast had “various” issues with the show — from the way that they were treated, to the script, and others things that occurred during the five-season run.
“There were times when we had issues on the show and we would come to them as a cast but I would be the spokesperson for it,” Carson recalled. “That last season before I left, they called me in and they basically said ‘All these problems that we’ve been having they [the cast] listen to you…so if you said something else, then they would do that.’
“I said, ‘Well first of all, we’re dealing with five grown people and they have their own minds and their own ideas about what we’re doing,” Carson continued. “Everything we come to you with is a group decision, but if you think I have that much power then I need to have a different job,’ and I don’t think they liked that.”
At the start of the final season, Carson’s character (Kyle Barker) was shipped off to London, raising his suspicions about potentially getting fired, but he was assured that he wouldn’t be let from the show. After the episode aired, Carson says he got a call from his lawyer telling him that he was fired from the show. “It wasn’t that I got fired, it was the way it was done.”
Carson also mentioned the treatment that the cast endured compared to the cast of Friends, which debuted after Living Single and used the same concept, except with white actors. Both sitcoms were filmed on the same lot at Warner Bros.
After getting fired, Carson went on an audition where he learned from a Black casting director that his former Living Single bosses spread false rumors about him. “He said, ‘I heard you were difficult, that you came to work unprepared, and I said ‘You know what? This interview is over. Thank you so much for your time,’ and I got up and walked out because I’m not going to let a Black man berate me in front of these white people.”
The 61-year-old actor described the experience as “devastating,” but despite troubles behind the scenes, he has fond memories of working with Queen Latifah, Erica Alexander, and the rest of the Living Single cast.
Watch clips of his interview below.