'Roc' axed star fumes

May 19, 1994|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,Sun Staff Writer

After a three-year run, "Roc," the dramatic comedy that has sometimes stirred up controversy for its realism, has been dropped from the Fox network's fall lineup.

Network officials cited low ratings in canceling the show, which stars Baltimore native Charles S. Dutton. But Mr. Dutton said the reason for cancellation ran deeper than ratings.

"When a show like that can get treated the way it's been treated for three seasons -- and I can tell you now, with total disrespect. When a show like that can get axed so easily, that is very good proof that what little quality there is in television is reserved solely for white people," Mr. Dutton said Wednesday.

An official from Mr. Dutton's production company said it may begin a campaign to have viewers protest the cancellation.

"I think the cancellation of 'Roc' sends out a strong message throughout the rest of the country, because the Nielson rating system in American television has nothing to do with African-Americans," Mr. Dutton said.

Mr. Dutton was in Baltimore to speak to students at Booker T. Washington Middle School about achieving excellence. Though angered, he said there is some consolation he can take with him: "After three seasons, I can walk away from it and sing the song of Frank Sinatra, 'I Did it My Way.' "

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