They portray hilarious parents on Black-ish, but in real life, things weren’t always so jovial between Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross. The pair of veteran actors have known each other for some time, but things went left back in 2005 when they were both appearing at the Vibe Awards. In an interview Parade magazine, Anderson recalled rubbing Ross the wrong way.
“We laugh about this now, but Tracee didn’t like me for maybe 10 years!” he said. “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.”
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Although they worked together after the embarrassing incident, Ross maintained the tension in 2011 when Anderson was featured on her show, Reed Between the Lines.
“When it came time for my close-up, she would leave the stage like, ‘The stage is Anthony’s!’ ” he said. “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.”
Anderson now calls Ross a close friend and says that he would do anything for her. “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.”
The eighth and final season of Black-ish premiered this evening (January 4). Check out a clip of Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross below.