This year will mark 27 years since the first episode of Living Single aired in August 1993. The popular comedy series starring Queen Latifah, Kim Fields, Erika Alexander and Kim Coles has ranked among the most revered television shows universally embraced by the black community.
As we reminisce about the beloved series, the concept of “where are they now?” is bound to come up when it comes to the cast. One of those actors is Terrence C. (T.C.) Carson, who portrayed Kyle Barker in the ‘90s Fox comedy.
Fans will remember that Carson left the series after Season 4 and didn’t return until the series finale. Not only was the exit premature and seemingly abrupt, but it was apparently forced. According to Carson, he was fired.
“It wasn’t that I got fired, it was the way it was done,” Carson confirmed in a recent interview with Comedy Hype. He recalled that as soon as the aforementioned episode aired, he was contacted by his lawyer almost “two minutes” later informing him that he wouldn’t be returning to the series.
Apparently, Carson had become the “spokesperson” for an array of issues among the cast, who felt they were getting “less than” and weren’t receiving the respect they deserved. Carson recounted the times the cast had creative differences with the writers and other larger issues with Warner Bros. Television.
“The last season before I left, they called me in and they basically said ‘Well, all these problems that we’ve been having, they [the cast] listen to you, you’re the person they listen to,’” he recalled. “‘So if you said something else, then they would do that.”
However, Carson assured higher-ups that the “five grown people” of the cast certainly had the agency to speak their own minds and that any issue he broached was ultimately “a group decision.” I mean, the theme song did tell us the group was “true blue, tight like glue.”
“I said, ‘If you think I have that much power then I need to have a different job’ and I don’t think they liked that,” Carson recalled.
Among those issues was the way the two leading men, Kyle and Overton Wakefield Jones (John Henton) were portrayed.
“We went to them and said, ‘Look, we know what you’re trying to do but you cannot put two buffoonish men against four strong women,’” he explained. “Two buffoonish black men against four strong black women. You have to think about it differently.”
“During my whole time on Living Single, I was happy I had a job but I understood the importance of the job I had,” Carson noted. “I understood the importance of what these characters meant to my community.”
Carson also spoke on the wage gap between their show and Friends, which has been at the center of a years-long conversation in regards to how the latter, more successful show was simply a (white) rip-off of Living Single. Friends co-star David Schwimmer recently reignited the convo after responding to Alexander when she called him out for his obtuse statement about rebooting an “all-black” Friends.
“We were getting less than all the way around, and then they created Friends and gave them everything,” Carson said. “And both shows were Warner Bros. shows on Warner Bros. lots, so to watch that was really kind of a slap in the face.”
In addition to this revelation, Carson also talked about how his father influenced Kyle’s smoothness (that perpetual hat he wore was definitely inspired by his dad’s style).
The Root reached out to Warner Bros. Television for comment, but they have yet to respond.
Check out the full interview below: