Actress Jackée Harry had to learn the hard way about the age-old axiom that warns you to be careful of how you treat people while you’re on your way up the metaphorical ladder. That’s because you may see those same people on your way down the totem pole of success.
Harry, who rocketed to fame via the 1980s sitcom “227,” and then scored another major hit with Tia and Tamera Mowry on “Sister, Sister,” admits that she mistreated a young, unknown production assistant (also called a “PA”) who worked with her on the set of “227”. She greatly regrets it now.
That young PA, who used to bring Harry her scripts every day, is now a Hollywood heavyweight producer and show creator named Kenya Barris. He is the genius behind the Emmy Award-winning series “Black-ish” as well as the spinoffs “Grown-ish,” “Mixed-ish” and “Old-ish.”
In addition to his illustrious TV portfolio, Barris also penned the 2016 blockbuster comedy Girls Trip, co-wrote the 2019 film Shaft, developed the Netflix series “#BlackAF,” produced the comedy Little with Issa Rae and Regina Hall, and will write and direct the modern-day remake of The Wizard of Oz.
You can easily see why Harry regrets mistreating Barris when he was a so-called nobody.
The topic of treating people right was broached during a conversation with fellow actress-activist Sheryl Lee Ralph.
Ralph discussed the fact that she is very grateful to this day that she treated a young assistant named Mari Brock Akil with respect, even though Akil was not a big name in Hollywood. Much like Barris, Akil also shot to superstardom later by either creating, producing or writing a slew of classic sitcoms and TV series like “Girlfriend,” “The Game,” BET’s “Being Mary Jane,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Moesha,” and “Love Is__” for the OWN Network.
Because Ralph was kind to Akil, she believes she will be able to work again with the show creator, writer and producer on future projects.
Unfortunately for Harry, however, Barris remembers how badly Harry mistreated her when he was a “nobody” and he was sure to remind Harry of her past behavior when he made it big in Tinseltown.
Check out the conversation on this cautionary tale below: