Anthony Anderson Admits Black-ish Costar Tracee Ellis Ross Didn't Always Like Him: 'We Laugh' Now

"She really didn't start liking me until we were midway through the first season of Black-ish," Anthony Anderson said

anthony anderson and tracee ellis ross
Photo: ABC via Getty

While Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross have played husband and wife on ABC's Black-ish for eight seasons, the actors haven't always been as close offscreen as they are today.

Anderson, 51, opened up about his friendship with Ross, 49, in a recent interview with Parade magazine. The actor said that while hosting an awards show with Ross years ago, he made a joke that offended her, leading to a decade-long icy relationship.

"We laugh about this now, but Tracee didn't like me for maybe 10 years!" he told Parade. "We hosted the Vibe Awards [in 2005]. As we were walking onto the stage there was a loud sound over the speaker, and I said, 'Tracee? Did you fart?' The audience loved it, but what I did not know is how offended Tracee was by that comment."

blackish cast
Dario Calmese/ abc

When Anderson appeared on Ross' series Reed Between the Lines in 2011, the mood was still tense between the two actors. Anderson said that sharing his scenes with Ross only made her feelings toward him more clear.

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"When it came time for my close-up, she would leave the stage like, 'The stage is Anthony's!' " he recalled. "I thought Tracee was just showing me the utmost respect as an actor. I was like 'Oh, my God, I've never been treated like this before! I was a guest star on her show, and she was just giving me her set!' "

"Well, looking back on it, she didn't want to be around me!" Anderson said to Parade. "She really didn't start liking me until we were midway through the first season of Black-ish, and so we laugh about it now."

Although they went through a rough patch, Anderson said he is so grateful for his costar and friend these days.

"But today, there's nothing that I would not do for Tracee," he told Parade. "We work the same, we learn the same, we are there for one another, and we have the ability to work with such fearlessness when we're together, because we know that we will never allow the other to fall."

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Black-ish, which began in 2014, is coming to an end this year. Creator Kenya Barris announced the news on Instagram last May, telling fans it was both "exciting and bittersweet" that his series had been renewed for an eighth and final season.

"In this day and age it is rare to get to decide when your show should come to an end, and we are grateful along with ABC to be able to make this final season exactly what we'd hoped for—– and to do it with the entire and AMAZINGLY STELLAR cast coming back to close this chapter out with us the right way!" Barris, 47, wrote at the time.

Black-ish season 8 premieres Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 9:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

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