After the clip of Vanessa Williams in the new Candyman trailer became a viral meme, many outlets picked up on social media reactions to the star reprising her role of Anne-Marie in the Black Horror classic. They did so by incorrectly adding a middle initial to her name that is nowhere on her birth certificate. Vanessa Williams erroneously became Vanessa “A.” Williams. Though fellow actress Vanessa L. Williams (Ugly Betty, Soul Food the movie) has an initial in her professional name, Vanessa Williams (Candyman 1992 and 2020, and Soul Food the Showtime series) has no initial in her professional name and was first to register the name with the Screen Actors Guild and all professional guilds.
Williams addressed the long history of the mistake live today on Shadow And Act’s new Facebook series, Locked Down With: Vanessa Williams, as well as other colorful commentary on the full-circle experience of reprising her role in Candyman, the future of Black horror and how Black actors can maintain longevity and hope during this pandemic. She talks about the name mistake starting at 35:17:
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