American actor John Amos who is known for his role as James Evans commented that despite the show ‘Roots’ success the job opportunities were limited.
Roots which was a hit show was adapted from the bestselling novel Alex Hayle’s and was released in 1977 on ABC. The show had received a huge rating and the story was so much liked by the viewers that it made its way to nine Emmy awards along with Golden Globe and Peabody Awards. The story revolved around the life of an African man named Kunta Kinte who was shipped to North America to work as a slave leaving his home ground. The character of the lead role was played by John Amos.
Marking the 45 years of success to the show John Amos along with his then co-star Louis Gossett talked about how the successful show didn’t bring many opportunities to the black actors unlike Gossett and LeVar Burton.
Speaking in an interview John addressed how the inequalities still exist in the film industry based on one’s race. The actor was of the view that the movie which was based on the lives of black people will help in terms of educating the audience, but he was sad to observe that the movie despite being a hit didn’t change the notion among the viewers regarding the discrimination which according to him still exists in today’s world. He said, “The truth is, we did not receive the commensurate job offers. The inequities that existed in the industry as regards race still existed, even after Roots, because few, if any of us – with the exception of stellar talents like Mr. Gossett and LeVar – were able to capitalize on the success of Roots.”
“But most of us in the cast, supporting and even starring actors, did not enjoy the same accolades and acclaim as our white counterparts,” he later continued.
The famous actor John concluded, “I realized Roots was going to change the game in terms of the education of the viewing audience, and it was going to change the game in terms of opportunities,” he said. “But not so dramatically that we could say, ‘Well now the struggle is over.’ It continues to this day.”
John Amos also talked about how grateful he was to work with Gossett as they have a past working history in the 1970s sitcom Good Times. Gossett had also won the Best Supporting Oscar for his role in the Roots movie.
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