Anthony Anderson recalls ‘Black-ish’ co-star Tracee Ellis Ross not liking him for 10 years

Anderson told Parade that while he and his on-screen wife are close friends now, things weren't always so amicable.

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As the hit ABC series Black-ish prepares to air its final season, one of the show’s stars, Anthony Anderson, revealed some secrets that took place behind the scenes. 

In an interview with Parade magazine, Anderson shared that while he and his on-screen wife Tracee Ellis Ross are close friends now, things weren’t always so amicable. 

“Black-ish” stars Anthony Anderson (left) and Tracee Ellis Ross (right) pose backstage during last month’s Fourth Annual Celebration of Black Cinema & Television at Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles. (Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

“I knew Tracee prior to Black-ish,” Anderson said. “We laugh about this now, but Tracee didn’t like me for maybe 10 years! We hosted the Vibe Awards [in 2005]. As we were walking onto the stage, there was a loud sound over the speaker, and I said, “Tracee? Did you fart?” The audience loved it, but what I did not know is how offended Tracee was by that comment.” 

He noted that when he appeared on a different show on which Ross was starring, she would leave the set when it was time for his close-ups.

“I thought Tracee was just showing me the utmost respect as an actor,” contended Anderson. “I was like ‘Oh, my God, I’ve never been treated like this before! I was a guest star on her show, and she was just giving me her set!’ Well, looking back on it, she didn’t want to be around me!”

“She really didn’t start liking me until we were midway through the first season of Black-ish,” he added, “and so we laugh about it now. But today, there’s nothing that I would not do for Tracee. We work the same, we learn the same, we are there for one another, and we have the ability to work with such fearlessness when we’re together, because we know that we will never allow the other to fall.” 

In the Parade interview, Anderson notes that he got his start in acting at a young age when a play at a local community center needed a baby to cry on cue.

After seven seasons, the critically-acclaimed comedy created by Kenya Barris is coming to a close. The series sparked several spinoffs, including Mixed-ish — which has aired for two seasons — and Grown-ish, which stars Yara Shahidi as the eldest member of the Johnson family, on Freeform. Another spinoff, Old-ish, is set to debut this fall and will follow the lives of Jenifer Lewis and Laurence Fishburne, portraying Ruby and Earl Johnson, as they adjust to their rapidly changing gentrifying neighborhood. 

The first episode of the final season of Black-ish airs Wednesday, Jan. 4 on ABC.

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