Classic TV fans are speaking out following ABC's Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times. The live TV production featured remakes of two episodes of the classic Norman Lear sitcoms, but some viewers took issue with the casting, most notably in the Good Times episode.
For the live staging of the Good Times episode "The Politicians," Andre Braugher and Viola Davis played iconic characters James and Florida Evans, while their children were played by Jay Pharoah (J.J.), Asante Blackk (Michael), and Corinne Foxx (Thelma). Tiffany Haddish played the Evans family's neighbor, Willona Woods, and Jharrel Jerome was cast as politician Jimmy Pearson in the memorable episode that first aired on CBS in 1976.
But some fans were not happy with the casting of Corinne Foxx, the daughter of actor Jamie Foxx, as Thelma Evans. Corinne is the 25-year-old biracial daughter of Foxx and his ex-girlfriend, Connie Kline, who works as an actress and model, according to PopCulture.
Fans may recall that Jamie Foxx played George Jefferson in the live remake of The Jeffersons last spring. Some viewers accused the Oscar-winning star of helping to get his daughter cast as Thelma in Good Times in lieu of actresses that look more like the original star.
Ahead of the show, Jamie promoted his daughter's major TV role in an Instagram post.
"TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT!!!" the proud papa wrote. "My incredible daughter [Corinne Foxx] is making history on #liveinfrontofastudioaudience joining the cast of GOOD TIMES!! It's going to be DYN-O-MITE!!"But on Twitter, some viewers overlooked Corinne's acting skills and were instead upset over the fact that a biracial actress was cast for the role of the Evans daughter Thelma. Earlier his year, Corinne told Haute Living that she has always worked hard to not let her dad's status "get in the way."
"When I was younger, I did struggle with people's assumptions of me and looking at me a certain way," she admitted.
She also said that both of her parents are passionate about their careers and that she refuses to do anything in her career that doesn't "spark joy."
While not everyone was thrilled with Corinne's casting on the Good Times special, a guest appearance by John Amos, the actor who played the original James Evans on the 1970s sitcom, stole the show. In addition, original Thelma, Bern Nadette Stanis, Jimmie Walker (JJ), and Ja'Net DuBois (Willona) all made cameos at the end of the live remake. Stanis even jokingly slammed the door in Walker's face, just like old times.