It’s not uncommon for actors to have multiple opportunities at the same time. Actress Niecy Nash held gigs on TV Land’s Soul Man and HBO’s Getting On at the same time. Diane Guerrero held down the role of “Maritza Ramos” on Orange Is The New Black while also starring as “Lina” on Jane The Virgin. Michael K. Williams got his gangster on as “Chalky White” on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire while simultaneously dropping knowledge as “Professor Marshall Kane” on NBC’s Community from 2011-2012. With shows being cancelled more than class in an Atlanta blizzard, it makes sense that actors want to keep their options open. But actor Pooch Hall says the BET network didn’t quite grasp that concept and ultimately hated on his hustle when he played football player “Derwin Davis” on the series The Game.
Global Grind reports the actor recently shared some unfortunate details about how strained his relationship became with the network after his departure from the BET-revamped show. The actor appeared on the June 8th premiere of Little Black Dress, a podcast hosted by Rocsi Diaz and Nina Parker. He says despite bringing laughter and love to his character on The Game for six seasons, BET threw major shade his way when he decided to take his acting in a different direction by taking a dramatic role on Showtime’s Ray Donovan:
“So when we were in negotiating, I kind of was like, ‘Uh oh’, because I knew how BET got down and I knew how the producers got down.”
“It’s almost like you have this opportunity that we gave you, we want you to be loyal. It wasn’t like fly eagle fly. When we tried to make it work. It was like, ‘Well we can’t do that.’ Part of me was like, ‘I don’t want to leave’ because when you start making that type of money and getting that type of love, I was literally like the mayor of Atlanta.”
Hall says things really got tense when his new gig made headlines:
“When that s**t hit Deadline, the emails and phone calls just ceased. It was like crickets. Then my lawyer called and asked has anyone from BET or Business Affairs called you? I was just like, ‘We might as well focus on Showtime because I know what that means.’ It was like the doors closed and all of a sudden no more BET Awards, it was like nothing. My peoples were like, “are you still acting?’”
Pooch says the rejection from the network almost led him into depression causing him to question his ability as an actor and the tough transition from being a main character to a supportive role:
“It was just like tough to deal with because all of a sudden it was almost like – the urban side of it was just like ‘Where’s our guy?’ and it was just like Damn, man, BET let another one go in a sense. And yo, you go through sh*t. I don’t care how tough I am. A guy or whatever man. We have feelings and certain things hurt us and bother us and you know we’re not indestructible. So it messed with me. And I’m not afraid to say it. I kinda got depressed.”
“I was just like well, you go from being the lead and as an actor I’m an artist, I just want to spit dialogue. It’s almost like telling a rapper who’s got like ill tracks, ‘Well you just gotta sing the hook. Or just write for him.’ It’s like ‘Dog I can spit’. But now you’re running elbows and shaking hands with different people.”
They say showbiz is brutal, but we’re glad to see Hall found success despite maybe losing some support along the way. You can listen to the podcast in full here.