Jasmine Guy believes NBC pitting A Different World against Martin was racism at work, saying, “You ain’t got but two Black shows…What do white people do? Divide.”
Guy and fellow A Different World co-star Kadeem Hardison were guests on The Breakfast Club to promote A Different World‘s upcoming 35th anniversary special on TV One.
Guy said that even though 'A Different World' was consistently among the top five rated shows on the network, the show was still mistreated by NBC, including when the show was moved to a timeslot opposite Martin, which aired on Fox.
“I definitely took that personally,” Guy said, according to Entertainment Weekly. “You ain’t got but two Black shows…so you put us on at the same time against each other? And what had we done to deserve this kind of disservice? You know, we’re not competing with Martin. They come on at 8:30, we come on at 8–why did you move us? That was a detriment.”
"I feel like we have the same audience," she said about both shows.
“And what do white people do? Divide. You got two hit shows, let’s put them on at the same time. They don’t do that to their own shows. So yes, I do feel like it was deliberate, I feel like it was racist, I know who was running NBC at the time, and I don’t feel like we were respected. I feel they always said, ‘Y’all came between [The Cosby Show] and Cheers, that’s why you’re No. 2. They said that to my face.”
Hardison agreed, saying that execs told him, "'You can't have no more money.'"
Hardison also said he learned what Woody Harrelson was making as an income by being on Cheers. Hardison intimated that it was much more than what he was earning on A Different World, which outranked Cheers in ratings.
"I was like, 'And y'all number 3? What? We went out into the field and found out [what] 'Cheers' [castmembers] was getting…I was like, 'How?'" he said.
Guy added that it hurt when they would talk to others, learning more about the disrespect they were receiving.
The 35th Anniversary of A Different World airs Sept. 24 on TV One.