Being a TV star is no insulation from racism.
In a new Page Six interview with actor Todd Bridges, the “Diff’rent Strokes” star opened up about being a child star experiencing “extreme racism,” calling it the “most difficult” part of growing up.
“Here you are doing something spectacular for people and people are enjoying it, but then you go outside and you’re treated like you’re ignorant, dumb and stupid,” Bridges, now 55, said. “Not like you have some intelligence or you’re a good kid, not at all.”
Bridges started his career at a young age, appearing on TV series like “Little House on the Prairie” and “Fish”, before getting a starring role as Willis Jackson on the iconic sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes”, which premiered in 1978 and ran until 1985.
Looking back on his life and career, Bridges has come to terms with a lot of what happened.
“I can be happy watching TV or doing the dishes,” he said. “Anything that affected me back then doesn’t affect me now. You see what’s going on in the world right now, you see the racism, you still have to go through it. I don’t let that affect me as much now. I know that’s what the world is right now.”
Bridges added, “I think the next generation may change it. My kids’ generation doesn’t see colour, they see people.”