Michael Ealy took a role in the upcoming season of “Being Mary Jane” to increase Black presence on TV.
Deadline reported the actor is set to play “Great Day USA” producer Justin Talbot. In an ill-fated twist, Talbot is the man responsible for Mary Jane losing her position at CNN.
Ealy said his friend and Think Like A Man co-star Gabrielle Union – who plays Mary Jane – offered him the spot on her BET drama.
“I had turned down several network offers,” Ealy explained, adding he also weighed several film projects for next year. “I really was not interested in doing another show at the time, but because Gabrielle is a friend, I told her that I’d seriously think about [it] and talk with my team.”
However, Ealy ultimately took the role based on what he called a “social responsibility” to improve the way Black actors are seen on screen.
“At the end of the day, I felt like we all have a social responsibility to help elevate material with people of color in any way that we can, and if there was an opportunity for me to help my friend and the cultural perceptions of our work, then I would do my part.”
The fourth season of “Being Mary Jane” premieres in January 2017.