Blair Underwood refused Sex And The City due to black stereotype
The actor said he was initially approached to make a one-off appearance in season three, opposite Kim Cattrell, who portrayed sex-mad PR guru Samantha Jones
Actor Blair Underwood originally passed up the chance to appear on hit TV drama series Sex and the City because he refused to be the token black character.
The Quantico star played Dr Robert Leeds, a love interest for Cynthia Nixon's lawyer Miranda Hobbes, in season six back in 2003. But he says he was initially approached to make a one-off appearance in season three, opposite Kim Cattrell, who portrayed sex-mad PR guru Samantha Jones. Underwood rejected the role of a top record executive whose sister takes issue with interracial relationships, because the storyline of the No Ifs, Ands or Butts episode was too stereotypical for his liking.
Discussing his time on Sex and the City on Netflix's Strong Black Lead podcast, he said: "I said no first, two years prior, because there was an episode... Kim Cattrell's character wanted to be with a black man and it was all about the curiosity. 'What's it like to be with a black man? Are the rumours true?' And I said, 'Thank you, but no thank you. I appreciate it and I'm honoured.' And I mean that, I don't take that lightly when people offer you a job. But I said, 'I'm not interested in being the black curiosity, but thank you'."
Producers later reached out with another proposal for the part of Dr Leeds, and this time, Underwood's wife, Desiree DaCosta, urged him to take on the gig, which featured a five-episode story arc.
"Two years later, they came back and had an offer to come join the show," Underwood shared. "And I said, 'Is it going to be about his race or is he going to be a human being?' They said, 'Nah, he's a doctor that's in her building who she meets in the elevator and they hit it off.' That was important. I only did five episodes and they only mentioned it (interracial relationship) once because it's obvious," he added. "You don't have to talk about the black guys. It's obvious what you are."