Morris Chestnut has been grinding it out in Hollywood for more than twenty years, meaning there are few people more qualified to weigh in on diversity in show business than him. The actor, who currently stars as Dr. Beaumont Rosewood in the hit medical dramedy Rosewood, has seen his share of doors slam in his face, but is optimistic about the way the tide is turning.
Speaking exclusively to BET.com, Chestnut says that the proliferation of cable has a lot to do with leveling the playing field. "I feel...there’s been much greater opportunity in TV than in film because the output is so much more," he says. "You have five or six studious, to where you have 100 TV stations doing original content."
The actor also spoke up about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, standing up for his pal Jada Pinkett Smith for getting the ball rolling on an important conversation. "I think that it is great that Jada came out and spoke out," he says. "Some people say 'she did it because her husband [Will Smith was snubbed for Best Actor],' and if she did speak out because her husband, good for her. I would want my wife to do the same thing, to be honest with you."
He continues, "the end result is this open dialogue. The Academy has come out with this openly since she has spoken out to say that they will enact some kind of change. People have reached out to me saying, 'we're going to get you in,' I have never even considered wanting to be in but people are now reaching out to me saying they will put me in the Academy. So those types of things I think it's good, and it's a very strong dialogue right now."
The actor also gave us an update on the fate of the awaited Best Man three-quel, The Best Man Wedding. Namely, he says, don't hold your breath.
"At one point [everyone was] in a rush because the studio had a slot a release date. They set a release date and put out a press release before coordinating everything, before closing our deals and coordinating schedules," he says. "Myself, I'm doing a show now, Taye [Diggs] is doing a show, Terrence [Howard] is doing a show, everyone is, unfortunately, everyone is working so its been hard to coordinate a time to when we're all off and all able to do it."
Watch Morris put together the perfect guy from his Best Man co-stars in our exclusive interview below. Rosewood airs Wednesdays on FOX — check your local listings.
(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) (Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)