Entertainment TV Tyler James Williams Claims 'Everybody Hates Chris' Producer Said He Would 'Probably Never Work Again' 'I was like, 'Holy s---, you really just looked at me and said that,'" the Abbott Elementary star recalled of his reaction to the producer's comment By Stephanie Wenger Stephanie Wenger Instagram Twitter Stephanie Wenger is a TV Writer/Reporter at PEOPLE. She joined the brand in 2021 as digital news writer, spanning across the site's verticals. She previously contributed to E! Online, HollywoodLife, Discover Los Angeles, Oscar.com and Hollywood.com. She appeared on air at AfterBuzz TV. She began her journalism career as an intern at Good Morning America and Access Hollywood. She graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor's in communications and received a Master's in journalism from the University of Southern California. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 23, 2023 06:59 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Kevork Djansezian/NBC via Getty Tyler James Williams is opening up about his "traumatic" experience as a child star. The 30-year-old actor looked back at working on the award-winning sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, which was inspired by Chris Rock's teenage years. He said in an interview with GQ that a producer on the sitcom — which ran from 2005 to 2009 — once told him, "I'll never see you as anything else and you'll probably never work again." Williams continued, "I was like, 'Holy s---, you really just looked at me and said that.'" Though Williams acknowledges the comment could have been a joke, he still took it to heart. Tyler James Williams Thanks Abbott Elementary Costars After Golden Globes Win: 'Honor to Work with You' Richard Cartwright/CBS Photo Archive via Getty The Abbott Elementary star added that he understood "pretty f---ing quickly" that young celebrities can get pigeonholed into perpetually playing teen roles — this epiphany allowed Williams to change the path of his career after Everybody Hates Chris endd. "I realized at 17 that I didn't like the road I was on," he explained. "So I decided to stop and pivot. I got with a really good acting coach and I turned down every single thing I was offered." Chris Rock Returns to TV with Everybody Still HatesChris Animated Series The career hiatus ended when he took a starring role in 2014's Dear White People as well as parts on shows including The Walking Dead and Criminal Minds. He went on to win a 2023 Golden Globe for playing role of Gregory Eddie on Abbott Elementary. Williams said his time Everybody Hates Chris taught him an important lesson: "I learned how to carry a show in a matter of two or three months. It's the most useful information I've ever gotten in my life." Gilles Mingasson/ABC Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. In August, MTV Entertainment Studios announced "a reimagined animated version" of the sitcom. Rock, 58, will feature Rock narrating stories inspired by his experiences growing up as a skinny nerd in a working-class family in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, in the late 1980s. "Chris Rock is one of the most gifted comedians of all time and we're excited to partner with him, 3 Arts and CBS Studios to bring this to life and welcome it as the next big hit," Chris McCarthy, President/CEO, Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios, said in a press release at the time.