‘Law & Order’ Revival Star Anthony Anderson Says His On-Screen Wife Didn’t Like Him for ‘Maybe 10 Years’

by Suzanne Halliburton
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Anthony Anderson is looking forward to the Law & Order revival. But at the same time, he’s reflecting back on his sitcom.

Anderson currently stars in Black-ish, a ground-breaking comedy that features an upper-middle-class Black family living in a white neighborhood. Anderson plays Andre. Friends call him Dre. His wife is Rainbow or just plain Bow. She’s portrayed by Tracee Ellis Ross, the daughter of Diana Ross, the diva of Motown. And Ellis Ross also is a regal style icon.

It’s probably not surprising that Anderson, who is a very funny and goofy human, may say something inappropriate around Ross. And maybe she took it the wrong way. Let the new Law & Order star explain.

“We laugh about this now, but Tracee didn’t like me for maybe 10 years!” Anderson told Parade. “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.”

Put yourself in Ross’ place. You’re dressed in a fancy outfit, looking fantastic, and someone makes a fart joke at your expense.

Anderson continued: “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! (And) 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!”

Anderson Started Production on Law & Order Last Month

Anderson is busy filming his scenes with Law & Order. Production on the Dick Wolf series started in New York a month ago. The reboot, or maybe we should call it a restart, is set for a Feb. 24th premiere. Like he did in from 2008-10, Anderson will play detective Kevin Bernard.

But while Law & Order is ahead of him, Anderson still is caught up in the nostalgia of his other series ending. He and Ross are great friends. She forgave the fart joke.

“But today, there’s nothing that I would not do for Tracee,” he says. “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.”

So if you’re looking forward to Law & Order, the show also brought back Sam Waterston for the reboot. He’ll play Jack McCoy, the district attorney. But there will be new faces among the cops and prosecutors. Jeffrey Donovan will be one of the detectives. So will Camryn Manheim. Hugh Dancy will play a lawyer in McCoy’s office.