Debbie Allen said the road to bringing “A Different World” back to TV hasn’t been a smooth one so far, but fighting for the series is nothing new for the famed director.
“There were a lot of challenges,” she said about making the ‘90s sitcom work during its six season run.
“I was put there…[to] make it relevant,” Debbie explained to TheGrio.com. “I graduated from Howard University. I knew what a Black college in the south was going to look like, especially a Historically Black College like Hillman.”
Debbie, who has Bill Cosby’s support in bringing the series back, said she had to fight the network to bring serious issues to the show. She pointed out that real college students are usually involved in politics and current affairs and that’s something she was determined to capture on “A Different World.”
“When there’s no political activity in the young people, the nation is close to death,” she said recalling a groundbreaking episode about AIDS. According to Debbie, she and the cast were at her home reading through a script when Magic Johnson announced to the world that he was HIV positive.
“We were the first to address AIDS,” said Debbie. “Advertisers were pulling out. You would have thought we were putting Jesus back on the cross. I was trying to educate young people about their health…Those were the kinds of challenges.”
Now, that Debbie is attempting to bring the show back to TV, she’s facing a different kind of obstacle.
“The difficulty is that it gets very convoluted when you’re mixing old writers and new writers,” she explained. “Right now, we’re kind of at a standstill. I got really far up that ladder and then I got stopped.”
Of course, Debbie’s track record proves that she’s not one to let a hurdle end her race. “We’ll investigate it again. It’s such a good idea,” she said. “’A Different World’ changed the lives of millions of people.”
What does Debbie think about reality TV? Watch her TheGrio.com interview below.
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