ABC Sitcom Star Quits, Calling Show a "Toxic Environment"
Carly Hughes won't be appearing on American Housewife going forward.
If you're a fan of ABC's American Housewife, you may have noticed someone missing in last week's episode. Carly Hughes, who's played Angela on the ABC sitcom for four seasons, has left the show and will not be appearing as the current fifth season moves forward. According to reporting by Deadline, Hughes officially quit American Housewife, a comedy about a working class family living in a stuffy Connecticut neighborhood, at the conclusion of Season 4, though she did appear in the Oct. 28 premiere. The actor has claimed that the set is a "toxic environment" and that she was subject to "discrimination." Keep reading for Hughes' full statement and to learn how the show has responded to her accusations. And for more cast changes, check out Johnny Depp Has Just Been Forced Out of the "Harry Potter" Franchise.
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Hughes issued a statement saying she quit American Housewife to "protect [herself] from that type of discrimination."
"I was no longer able to work in the toxic environment that was created on American Housewife," the statement reads, per Deadline. "I made the decision to leave to protect myself from that type of discrimination. As a Black woman in entertainment, I feel the responsibility to stand up for what I deserve, what we all deserve—to be treated equally. I wish the show well, and I am excited for a new chapter and to be able to pursue the opportunities ahead."
Hughes was the only Black member of the main American Housewife cast. The series stars Katy Mixon and Diedrich Bader as married couple Katie and Greg Otto. Comedian Ali Wong plays Katie's other best friend, Doris. Hughes did not outline specific instances of discrimination in her public statement.
For the controversial way some older series are dealing with their histories, here are 12 TV Shows That Have Had Episodes Pulled Because of Blackface.
A spokesperson for American Housewife responded, and did not dispute Hughes's claims.
"Carly was a valued member of the cast, and we had hoped she would return to the show this season," the spokesperson told Deadline. "The concerns she raised led to positive changes to the workplace and improvements to the culture, but we respect the decision she made to move on. We wish her nothing but the best."
The series creator and other American Housewife creatives have stepped aside.
Anonymous sources told Deadline that the claims made by Hughes "triggered an extensive HR investigation by ABC Signature, which also looked into other claims from production team members." Those production team members were not identified.
The two showrunners of American Housewife, Kenny Schwartz and Rick Wiener, are still in place, but have reportedly gone through sensitivity training. Series creator and head writer Sarah Dunn, who's also written for Murphy Brown and Spin City, "is no longer an active producer on the show." A line producer, Mark J. Greenberg, has also "stepped down" in conjunction with the claims. None of those individuals have issued their own statements regarding the changes or Hughes's characterization of the set.
For older films that are shockingly problematic, check out 11 Classic '90s Movies That Have Been Called Out for Racism.
Hughes indirectly referenced her departure on Instagram.
The actor posted an adorable photo of herself as a baby on her Instagram last week. The caption reads, "Little me… always reminds me to keep going, to fight for what's right and good and to never give up. Sending some strength your way, because everyone could use a smile today…." Other than that and her official statement, Hughes has yet to comment further on her departure from American Housewife.
She'll next appear in the upcoming Lifetime holiday movie The Christmas Edition.
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Holly Robinson Peete is joining the American Housewife cast.
Deadline reported last week that actor and former The Talk host Holly Robinson Peete has joined American Housewife as Tami, an old friend of Katie's who she catches up with when her family moves to Westport. She's the second new addition to the regular cast for Season 5. Young actor Giselle Eisenberg replaced Julia Butters as Katie and Greg's daughter Anna-Kat. Butters left the show after earning rave reviews for her performance in the Oscar-winning film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
And for more young talent you may have grown up with, check out The Biggest Child Actors Ever, Then and Now.