Jasmine Guy opened up about her time on A Different World in a new interview.
Guy played a key role, the Southern belle Whitley Gilbert, in one of the most popular all-Black shows of the late ’80s to early ’90s. A Different World premiered in 1987 and followed a young group of diverse Black men and women attending the fictional historically Black institution, Hillman College.
The show depicted Black college life as well as the real-life experiences of people of color.
In an exclusive interview with Page Six, Guy recalled the sparring between the network and the cast from A Different World. She claims NBC never wanted to tackle deep subjects on the show.
“It was always a fight with them,” said Guy when thinking back on the struggles to depict hard-hitting storylines. Guy recalled one time when the show’s creator, Bill Cosby, flew in to “put his foot down for the AIDS episode with NBC because they didn’t want to do it. They [NBC] never wanted to do anything deep that we wanted to do.”
According to Guy, the network never treated the cast with respect like other actors on a hit show.
“We were always told we were number two because we came in between Cheers and Cosby,” she explained.
“We were always told we stayed on the air because Cosby’s on the air,” said Guy. “Our power was always diminished in Hollywood, to the networks, to the powers that be. We were not treated as I saw other actors treated on other hit shows,” she continued.
Guy is currently appearing on the Amazon Prime series Harlem, along with Whoopi Goldberg, Meagan Good, Grace Byers, and more. The show is bout four Black women navigating their personal and professional lives after college. She is playing a mother to one of the girls, a well-to-do Jamaican-born woman.