John Legend to play well-known abolitionist and author on WGN’s ‘Underground’


WGN’s “Underground” has found its Frederick Douglass — and it didn’t have to look far to find him.

This week, the network announced that singer-songwriter John Legend, who currently serves as an executive producer on the series, has nabbed the role of the well-known abolitionist and author, who after escaping slavery in Maryland, became an eminent human rights leader in the anti-slavery movement as well as the first African-American citizen to hold a high U.S. government rank.

As for the importance of the role, “We are in a moment now where we have a major candidate for office that is being very racist and divisive,” the father of one said at Variety’s TV Summit at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, California in June. “I feel the need to call that out all the time because I don’t want us to feel like it’s impossible for our nation to go back to another dark place.”

The 37-year-old crooner continued, “We, as people who believe in equality and diversity and believe that every human being in this life matters, we need to be vigilant in making sure that we don’t elect leaders who are contradicting that belief.”

But that’s not it. Douglass won’t be the only historical figure to make an appearance in the drama’s second season. Guest star Aisha Hinds, best known for her role on “Under the Dome,” will be stepping into the role of Harriet Tubman, while Sadie Stratton will portray a notorious slave trader, Patty Cannon.

Set to premiere on WGN America in early 2017, “Underground” will consist of 10 must-watch episodes. And we can barely contain our excitement. What are your thoughts on Legend stepping in as Douglass? Does he have the chops to pull off such an iconic leader? Sound off in the comment section below.

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