Black-ish Star Anthony Anderson Reveals Why Co-Star Tracee Ellis Ross Didn’t Like Him For Years

For seven seasons, Black-ish has been a beloved television staple for viewers. The comedy’s success has been due in part to the amazing dynamic between Anthony Anderson and his celebrated TV wife, Tracee Ellis Ross. The two co-stars made viewers believe their on-screen romance, and they also have a warm relationship off camera. But according to Anderson, that wasn’t always the case. Apparently, Ellis Ross had initially disliked him for years, and the actor recently revealed why that was the case.

It’s weird to think that Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson weren’t cool at some point in time, given how close they seem to be now. But as many people know, it's not unusual for there to be friction between stars. Before starring together, Anderson and Ross were running around the same Hollywood circles yet, as it turns out, a public appearance caused the former to be somewhat lukewarm about her future TV hubby. Anderson explained:

I knew Tracee prior to Black-ish. 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.

Most would probably agree that that was probably the wrong move, especially if your co-host isn’t in on the joke. So one can kind of see why the Girlfriends alum felt slighted at the time. Apparently, that incident impacted subsequent interactions between the Law and Order star and his future screen partner for years. In the same interview with Parade, Anthony Anderson revealed how it affected one particular instance in which they worked together prior to Black-ish:

I remember I did an episode of her show Reed Between the Lines [in 2011] and all of my scenes were with Tracee. And when it came time for my close-up, she would leave the stage like, ‘The stage is Anthony’s!’ I thought Tracee was just showing me the utmost respect as an actor. 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, 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.

I think fans, and ABC, are glad that the two were able to move past that. Because the co-stars were able to work out their differences, they've become one of television’s most beloved sitcom couples. Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross truly push each other to be the best, which has led to multiple award nominations --from Emmys to Golden Globes. So it's going to be bittersweet to watch them close out the  the series and move on to other work (like Anderson's Law and Order revival).

Though viewers will have to say goodbye to Dre, Bow and the rest of the Johnsons, the Kenya Barris-created Black-ish is sure to go out with a bang. The road to the series finale begins when the eighth season premieres on January 4 at 9:30 pm EST on ABC. And be sure to check out CinemaBlend's 2022 winter and spring schedule for more on other shows dropping in the new year.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).