From The Grio — After the high of attending this year’s Emmy Awards on Sunday in support of her nomination for outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or a movie, Taraji P. Henson took to Facebook and Twitter yesterday to express her dismay at not being included in an upcoming TV Guide cover featuring her cast mates Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson for their CBS show Person of Interest, premiering Thursday, September 22.
“WOW!!!! TV Guide is NOT including me on the cover with my cast memebers [sic]……..I am the female lead of a 3 member cast and I’m not included on the cover!!!!!! Do you see the shit I have to deal with in this business…..I cram to understand!!!!” she wrote.
But Henson’s beef should also extend to CBS. Previews for Person of Interest include her in the filmed photo of the cast and show her in a clip or two but she only speaks in the behind the scenes one. As is the case with TV Guide, the focus is solidly on multiple Emmy winner Emerson and Caviezel, who respectively play billionaire software tycoon Mr. Finch and ex-CIA agent John Reese as essentially crime stoppers in post 9/11 New York where the average citizen’s privacy has been seriously compromised.
Oscar nominee Henson plays NYPD detective Carter who has her eye on Reese. Yet commercials for the series don’t even show her delivering any dialogue. In light of that, how can she fault TV Guide for not including her on the cover? At this point, it is only clear that she is inPerson of Interest; her importance to the series has not been firmly established.
When asked about the show and her role in it during an interview at Comic-Con International available on YouTube (2:09 to 2:35), Henson admitted that “Even [in] the first episode, after the pilot, you get to see a little more about Finch and I’m sure they’ll start showing a little more about Carter.”
Yes, it’s great to work with producer J.J. Abrams, the major mastermind behind several television series including Felicity, Alias, Lost and last year’s short-lived Undercovers starring Boris Kodjoe, and Person of Interest creator Jonathan Nolan, who co-wrote The Dark Knight. But substantial roles are so limited for African-American actors, especially on television, that merely landing a role on such an A-list show becomes a victory in itself.