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‘I Don’t Believe on Giving Up on Anybody’: Jo Marie Payton Asks Disney To Bring Orlando Brown Back on ‘The Proud Family’ as a Recurring Role Following the Actor’s Tumultuous Past 

Jo Marie Payton isn’t a stranger for advocating for fellow actors or actresses wirh whom she has worked. 

In March, Payton opened up that she would only consider a “Family Matters” reboot if the studio would bring back Jaimee Foxworth’s character. Foxworth, who played Payton’s TV daughter Judy Winslow, no longer appeared in the series after the fourth season. 

Jo Marie Payton, Orlando Brown
Jo Marie Payton expresses during the American Black Film Festival on June 16 that she would like to see Orlando Brown return to “The Proud Family” in a recurring role. (Photo: Instagram/Screenshot, Photo: @officialorlandobrown/Instagram)

Fast forward to June 16, Payton once again publicly used her voice to ask Disney to have her former co-star Orlando Brown reprise his role as Sticky Webb in “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.” 

The reboot premiered earlier this year and brought back all of the original characters from “The Proud Family” series except for Brown. Although the exact reason why Disney executives decided not to have Brown on the show is unclear, one possible factor could stem from the actor’s past drug addiction

Payton expressed her thoughts at the American Black Film Festival during a panel with her “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” co-stars Kyla Pratt and Paula Jai Parker. 

The 71-year-old said, “I know everybody loved Orlando Brown. You loved him, and so do we. We all have challenges in life, and things happen. I mentioned to the guys the other day that it would be wonderful if Disney would have him pop in and do a recurring or something. Get back into the family in some way. Bring Sticky back even if it’s recurring. Let him visit his friends.”

“The Proud Family” stars Paula Jai Parker (left) Kyla Pratt (center) and Jo Marie Payton (right) attend the American Black Film Festival on June 15. Photo:@twobeetv/Instagram

Payton added that she’s speaking up because of how talented Brown is and feels the 34-year-old deserves a second chance to redeem himself.

She said, “It will not only help us, because we family and we stick together. It will also help his career; he’s not finished. He’s a young man, and he’s very talented on our show and other shows. I believe everybody gets a second chance because he’s just speaking if Disney would open up and give a shot to come back on as Sticky, you know, recurring.”

Payton wrapped up the discussion by pointing out that if Brown were allowed to work on the series, this potentially could “open the doors for other things to happen” for him professionally. “Just test him out, this, that, and the other; it will open the doors for other things to happen for him. ‘Cause I don’t believe in giving up on anybody. I really don’t.”

At the end of the video, Parker, who agreed with Payton’s statements, said, “You never know what might change your life.”

As the video circulated online, many applauded Payton for speaking out and having Brown’s back.

“One thing about her she’s going to ride for her cast members no matter the show. She said the same thing about Jamie who they wrote off Family Matters. She’s definitely a queen!!!”

“Protect her at all cost ! She rides for her babies and that’s the type of cast member anyone needs. Everyone deserves a second chance when proven.”

“That’s sweet of them. I really hope he makes a comeback in the healthiest version of himself.”

“Beautiful. Love that she did this on this very public platform.”

“Please do!!! This would be a full circle moment for him. He’s back on track with his mental and physical health so this reward would be the icing on the cake. This is what you call having someone’s back.”

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