The media storm around Vanessa Williams’ move to Wisteria as a regular on “Desperate Housewives” is crazy enough without the very few words she has said about accepting the part being twisted.
Williams tells Zap2it that reports that she had reservations about joining the ABC show, because of how they treated their first African-American regular’s storyline are untrue.
It all started when Williams apparently told Entertainment Weekly magazine (presumably in the print edition), “[Alfre Woodard’s character] had her son in chains in the basement. It was like, ‘Really? Do we have to go there with our first Black character?'”
She continues, “I honestly fell off the show after that. I think it was just so implausible and just an image that Black folks don’t want to see.”
After that, the media took the extra jump and reported that Williams had reservations about signing on to the ABC show, because of Woodard’s storyline and had to be coaxed into accepting the role. The new housewife tells us that never happened.
“It was definitely broader than just me,” Williams tells Zap2it. “In terms of African-American viewers who were so excited to have a Black character and to have that as a component… It wasn’t just me. I certainly hope they didn’t single me out and say that was an issue with me.”
They certainly did, Vanessa. While the star stands by her comments on Woodard’s storyline (Season 2’s Betty Applewhite), she says the criticism didn’t factor into her decision to take the role of Renee in Season 7.
She says, “It never came up. I had no idea it was a big deal and [executive producer Marc Cherry] never said anything about it.”
The former “Ugly Betty” star tells us she did have one reservation when she was considering the role and it’s not exactly headline fodder.
“The issue was getting my daughter into school here and moving my life here, yet again,” she says. “Filmed ‘Betty’ in New York and we moved out here for two seasons and then back to New York… So, once I knew I can set my life up back in L.A., then it was smooth sailing. I always discuss things with my kids anyway, and they said, ‘Go for it.'”