Controversy Surrounds Emmys Host Anthony Anderson



by NOUMAN RASOOL

Controversy Surrounds Emmys Host Anthony Anderson
© Monica Schipper/GettyImages

acclaimed actor and comedian Anthony Anderson, hosting the upcoming Emmys on Monday is the realization of a lifelong ambition. The 53-year-old star of "Black-ish" shared with Entertainment Tonight his long-held desire to host the prestigious event.

Anderson's appointment as the Emmys host, however, has stirred considerable controversy, primarily due to past physical assault allegations against him, sparking significant backlash. This week, screenwriter Alanna Bennett's tweet questioning the Emmys' selection process highlighted the growing dissent.

The Sexual Violence Prevention Association took a more assertive stance, urging Fox to reconsider Anderson's role and calling for more thorough vetting of future hosts by the network and the Emmys. Anderson's first brush with controversy dates back to 2004.

He and assistant director Wayne Witherspoon faced accusations of raping a 25-year-old extra on the set of "Hustle & Flow" in Memphis.

Additional Assault Claims

Further allegations surfaced from the set of Anderson's sitcom "All About the Andersons," which he vehemently denied.

Although the charges in Tennessee were dropped due to insufficient probable cause, Anderson faced a third accusation in 2018. A Los Angeles woman alleged he assaulted her the previous year, inspired by the #MeToo movement to come forward.

The LAPD opened an investigation, but the case was declined when the woman opted not to be interviewed after filing the initial report. Anderson's career remained largely unaffected. He garnered consistent Emmy nominations for his role in "Black-ish" and recognition as a producer.

His portrayal of Andre "Dre" Johnson in "Black-ish" demonstrated his versatility, blending charm and a family-man persona. Born in Compton in 1970, Anderson credits his mother, Doris, for inspiring his entertainment career.

After a brief attempt at stand-up comedy, he transitioned to television with "In the House" in 1995, followed by a diverse film career. Anderson focused on television, showcasing his range in various genres, including comedy and drama.

Post-"Black-ish," Anderson's career has flourished. He has co-hosted the travel series "Trippin’ with Anthony Anderson and Mama Doris" and the new game show "We Are Family" with his mother. Fox's unscripted programming president, Allison Wallach, cited Anderson's performance on "We Are Family" as a key factor in his Emmys hosting selection, praising his humor, heart, and spontaneity.

Anderson's mother will join him on the Emmys stage, continuing their successful on-screen partnership. His experience includes hosting the NAACP Image Awards for nine years and guest-hosting various talk shows, preparing him well for the Emmys.