Angela Bassett has been known to many of her fans for her role as Kathrine Jackson in the 1992 miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream. But she recently revealed that her agents didn’t want her to take the role.
IndieWire reports that at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival while accepting the Montecito Award, the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star also took part in a conversation about her career with festival director Roger Durling. She said how her agents didn’t want her to take the role because of the sexual allegations that were being made about Michael Jackson at the time.
She said agents told her, “‘You know what, there’s a lot of allegations about Michael in the press, and we don’t think you should do this project.'” As a fan of the Jacksons growing up, she felt devastated by the situation at hand.
“They were the first concert I ever went to as a little girl. I had posters on my wall. Here’s one of them in the room, auditioning me to protray his mom. This was a crazy trip for me,” he said. “I remember telling my agents, ‘No, no, no, I’m not going out for the role of Michael, I’m going out for the role of their mother. And no matter what, whatever the allegations, or whoever, whatever we think–one thing is true, that I believe, that I can see, is that they adore their mother. They revere their mother. And that, a reverence for motherhood, for mothers, is what I want to put out into the world.”
She also talked about how playing Kathrine has become one of Bassett’s most beloved roles and is still referenced years later.
“It went on to have like 40 million viewers,” she said. “We don’t get those kinds of eyeballs on the show today.”