Former A Different World stars Jasmine Guy and Kadeem Hardison stopped by The Breakfast Club, where they shared a few shocking details about the show’s producers.
From 1987 to 1993, Hardison and Guy played the adorable couple Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert on the Cosby Show spin-off, which followed the ups and downs of student life at the fictional HBCU Hillman College. But while things appeared to be peachy keen on-screen, both actors revealed that off-camera, the producers behind the hit sitcom weren’t so friendly.
On Wednesday’s radio show, Guy and Hardison explained that when they first joined the show, they were required to sign a 6-year contract with the series. However, due to producers’ rude attitudes behind the scenes, Guy said she couldn’t wait to put in her “two-week notice.”
“That first season, it was wack and I didn’t like the way they treated Lisa Bonet,” the 60-year-old revealed. According to Guy and Hardison, on-set, producers behind the hit Black sitcom constantly disrespected and belittled Bonet, who played the iconic Denise Huxtable.
“I said you disrespect her in front of the audience and in front of me, you’re disrespecting me too,” Guy continued, noting how some bigwigs behind the show would often get “all up in” Bonet’s face and shout demands. “I didn’t interfere on set. But I was like, oh, no, oh, no, you’re not treating her like that.”
The Harlem Nights star said that at one point, Bonet had to hire security to feel safe on set. Eventually, the actress left after the second season of A Different World, but some fans wondered if the mistreatment on set was to blame for her departure. Hardison revealed that Bonet actually left because she became pregnant while filming and sadly, producers “didn’t want to show a black girl pregnant in college.”
“I thought it would have been a great tool. Something that could inspire because it was all inspiring. That’s a real thing,” Hardison added.
Yikes! This is super sad to hear given how influential A Different World was and still is on Black culture. We learned about the power of family, love and friendship just by turning in every week to watch the seminal series and representation like this is needed now more than ever! Luckily, fans will get to relive the magic of the iconic TV show on Sep. 24, when Hardison and Guy unite to celebrate the 35th anniversary of A Different World with an all-day marathon on TV One. The fun will kick off at 6 a.m.
Also, don’t forget to tune in to Kadeem Hardison’s juicy interview on the season premiere of TV One’s Uncensored on Sep.25. It looks like he’ll be making a few shocking confessions of his own.
Check out the teaser below.