A Different World is an impactful show that had youth in the late 80s and 90s wanting to better themselves by going to college.
Everyone who watched the show remembers the sitcom episode that had Tupac Shakur as the former boyfriend of Jada Pinkett-Smith. Kadeem Hardison and Jasmine Guy speak on the iconic rapper and actor. Hardison who portrayed the fun loving Dwayne Wayne believes Tupac would have become a better actor than rapper.
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He also revealed that he was the director of the episode that saw Tupac Shakur and Jada Pinkett-Smith as the main stars. The episode is popular with hip hop fans ever since it first aired. Jasmine Guy who was personal friends with Tupac Shakur off set. During the interview she explained how she wrote the book that is the inspiration for the Afeni Shakur movie that is in the works.
Following the impact of black sitcoms in the 70s and 80s such as Good Times, The Jeffersons, and The Cosby Show, the pressure was on the cast and show originally when it debuted in 1987. Jasmine Guy admitted that she didn’t get why her character “Whitley Gilbert” would fall in love with the goofy Dwayne Wayne. In her mind, Whitley would have been dreaming about some senior instead of a fellow freshman. We were there to be the “snotty bitch” and the “goofy dude” says Guy about the original premise of their characters.
Jasmine Guy believed the show was “booty’ in the beginning and actually wanted to quit after the first season. However, Bill Cosby, who create the show, brought in Debbie Allen to make serious changes to the programming. Lisa Bonet would also exit the sitcom despite the whole show was centered around her character from The Cosby Show.
Guy states that Allen made the characters more realistic and Hardison said Debbie Allen gave them homework in terms of writing their characters standpoint five years into the future. Debbie Allen went to Howard University and wanted to bring that experience on the show.