Demond Wilson may have played a junkman on Sanford and Son, but did the Peacock network have to treat him like one?
No, says the actor, who in a new book dishes about the injustices he says he and co-star Redd Foxx endured during their classic ’70s sitcom’s five year-run.
Interviewed on Your Mental Health, Demond previews Second Banana: The Bittersweet Memories of Sanford and Son, which just shipped from the printer on Friday.
“I have been silent for over 30 years. I have not spoken out against the atrocities that were perpetrated against us.
“Now, this book is not a tell-all book. And it’s not a catharsis for my angst. Nor is it a get-even book.
“It’s a documentation of what Redd and I went through from day one until the day that— contrary to popular belief, Sanford and Son was never canceled; you don’t cancel a show in the top 10—Redd decided to leave,” Demond, who became an ordained minister in 1984, tells host Jacqueline Foreman.
“We were breaking ground, we were making history, [but] when we first came to NBC, we didn’t even have dressing rooms, except on a shoot day.
“We were dressing in the men’s room…They tried to deal with us like we were third-class field hands.”
Later in the show, Demond recalls a bittersweet anecdote about his top banana.
“Redd was from St. Louis, and spent a lot of time in Harlem. Redd said to me one day, ‘You know, Demond, I used to sleep on the roof.’ And I said, ‘What did you do when it rained?’ He said, ‘I didn’t go home.'”
He also talks his daughter’s patriotic career choice.
“Nicole…is stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She’s an officer down there in the prison camp,” he says.
“I was in Vietnam, so I did not want her to go that way. But she chose to become an officer in the Navy.
“She’s been in there for like seven years. She absolutely loves it. She’s a ‘lifer,’ as they used to call’em.”
To hear Demond’s full interview, click here.
To read more about Second Banana, click here.
To read about Demond’s upcoming flick, Faith Ties, click here.