“There’s a line that goes through the Civil Rights movement, through Roots in [the] 1970s, to Barack Obama being elected,” LeVar Burton notes as he and Roots co-stars Ben Vereen and Louis Gossett Jr. reminisce about their days playing Kunta Kinte, Chicken George, and Fiddler. Thirty-three years after the miniseries first appeared on ABC (85 percent of the population tuned in for at least part of it, with the finale drawing 100 million viewers), a lot has changed in the country and the culture. But, as Vereen points out in the embedded video below, filmed at EW’s Reunion 2010 shoot in Los Angeles earlier this month, not even Roots was able to enlighten everybody. He remembers what happened when co-star Madge Sinclair (nominated for an Emmy for playing Belle) approached one of the networks with a post-Roots project. “She was told they had done their quota for the African-American community,” he says.
EW Reunions: 'Roots' stars LeVar Burton, Ben Vereen, and Louis Gossett Jr. discuss the ground-breaking miniseries