Bernie Mac is breaking his silence about the recent firing of his sitcom's creator and executive producer Larry Wilmore. But the comedian is not about to make enemies on either side of the skirmish, so he places blame on both Fox and the Emmy-winning scribe.
"You know networks," shrugs Mac. "[Similar backstage] battles have been going on for a long time. [But] the situation with Larry was something that he chose to do, too." In a nutshell, Fox allegedly blames the exec for the show's less-than-stellar ratings in its second year, while Wilmore made no secret about his frustration with Fox's creative restrictions. (For more on the tensions, click here.)
"Larry was an instrumental part of the Bernie Mac Show," adds Mac, who confirms that two of the show's writers, Warren Hutcherson and Steve Tompkins, will succeed Wilmore at the helm. "He really shaped it. But there really wasn't anything he could do."
If Mac doesn't seem particularly phased by the shake-up, that's probably because his movie career is picking up speed, with big-budget flicks like Charlie's Angels 2 on the horizon. Next up, he plays Chris Rock's older brother in the presidential campaign parody Head of State (opening March 28). Of course, the two actors are playing the cross-promotion card tonight, when Rock guest-stars on the series.
Ironically, the episode centers on a behind-the-scenes feud. Explains Rock: "I'm playing myself, and Bernie thinks I stole a joke from him 10 or 20 years ago."