*Damon Wayans and Jamie Foxx were the lone cast members of Fox’s “In Living Color” who were absent from the show’s big reunion at the TV Land awards. Foxx had a legitimate excuse, but Damon’s absence, according to Deadline.com, was more confusing.
“In Living Color” was recognized with the Groundbreaking Award at the ceremony’s 10th Anniversary event, which was taped on April 14 in New York. Foxx couldn’t attend because he has been in New Orleans filming Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” Damon Wayans, who co-created “In Living Color” with his brother Keenan Ivory Wayans, simply told organizers he was unavailable for the big night.
Sources close to the actor say he declined to attend the ceremony “because it just wasn’t his thing.” But while Foxx (as well as every other “In Living Color” alum) allowed TV Land to use footage from the show on the awards special, Damon Wayans declined the network’s request for permission to use any scenes with him. Clips with Damon were shown at the event but, as a result of his decision, such classics as Men on Film and Homey D. Clown had to be cut out of the TV special.
Damon Wayans has largely gone his separate way after he and brother Marlon joined Keenen in his public exit from “In Living Color” at end of 1992. Damon Wayans has never been a part of Wayans Bros. Entertainment, the company of Keenan, Marlon and Shawn who frequently collaborate together. The only time Keenen and Damon have worked together in the past 20 years was when Keenan made a guest stint in an episode from the first season of Damon’s ABC sitcom “My Wife and Kids” in 2001. (They have made a handful of joint appearances at events alongside other siblings.)
On Fox’s 25th anniversary special last week, “In Living Color” was represented only by Keenen, Marlon and Shawn. (Damon was featured prominently in the clips used on the special but they’re owned by Fox’s sibling 20th Century Fox, which produced the original series and the upcoming reboot.) The Fox and TV Land Awards “In Living Color” reunions come as Keenan is working on that “In Living Color” reboot for Fox, which will premiere as two specials featuring all new cast of young performers. Keenan is hosting and executive producing the reboot, which is being done without Damon’s involvement.
That fact as well as long-running speculation about friction between the two oldest Wayans brothers have sparked rumors about a more serious rift between Keenan and Damon. Sources close to the two dismiss any talk of friction between them as “absurd,” claiming that Keenen and Damon have remained close and that Damon was present for some of the editing of the new “ILC” specials earlier this week. In fact, Damon’s son, Damon Wayans Jr., makes an appearance in the specials, and the actor has a strong relationship with Fox, which cast him as one of the leads of “New Girl.” But he had to pull out of the series when his other show, ABC’s “Happy Endings,” was unexpectedly renewed. “They may fight like any family, but nothing gets between the Wayans brothers,” one source from the Wayans bros. camp said.
In addition to Keenen, Shawn and Marlon and their sister Kim, on tap to accept the Groundbreaking Award at the TV Land Awards were “ILC” co-stars Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson, Kelly Coffield Park and T’Keyah Crystal Keymah as well as former fly girl dancer Carrie Ann Inaba, now a judge on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.” Fellow former fly girl Jennifer Lopez did not attend, reportedly citing her duties on another talent reality show, Fox’s “American Idol” though the TV Land Awards were held over the weekend when there are no “Idol” tapings.