Wrong Black Guy: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Addressed as Malcolm-Jamal Warner at TCA

TCA 2017: And we’re all frigging mortified

Last Updated: August 6, 2017 @ 5:02 PM

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is a black man and an actor. Malcolm-Jamal Warner is too. They are not the same person, however.

Late in the day Sunday during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, one writer in the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom made a pretty bad faux pas while ABC’s “Ten Days in the Valley” panel was up on stage.

This whole thing requires a bit of setup — Showrunner Tassie Cameron, Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kyra Sedgwick, Kick Gurry and Erika Christensen were in the house, representing their new limited series on the broadcast network. While Warner is in the cast, he was not in attendance today.

That pesky detail didn’t stop one woman from posing a question for the “Cosby Show” alum, directing it at the only other man of color on the panel. She ignored all of the audible groans and got through her entire query, which included references to the late ’80s/early ’90s sitcom.

Everyone in the room was horrified, but Akinnuoye-Agbaje was extremely gracious in his response.

“What’s great about your question is that there ARE a few of us in this show,” he began, after explaining who he is and is not.

TCA organization members were very quick to point out that the credentialed attendee was not an official member of the critics’ group, like this one:

The question-asker apologized to Akinnuoye-Agbaje for the mixup. We’re sorry too. TheWrap is not sure for what exactly, as we played no role in the mistake — it’s just something that feels important to say over and over again right now.

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