John Amos as Kunte Kinte in "Roots" (1977)

John Amos as Kunte Kinte in “Roots” (1977)

*The History Channel’s remake of “Roots” is just weeks away, and a star of the original 1977 miniseries has a lot to say about it.

John Amos, who received an Emmy nomination as the adult Kunte Kinte in the groundbreaking 1977 original, told the Huffington Post that the remake may not have as much of a cultural impact.

“I guess it will be contingent upon how well it’s done, but I don’t think it’s gonna have the same impact for a number of reasons,” he said. “One, the circumstances that Roots was originally shown under was totally different circumstances than today. Today there seems to be tremendously more programming that has black subject matter and black characters, both on the screen and behind the scenes, than it existed with the development of the original. So much time has passed. I think there’s a great deal of apathy about the subject matter. I don’t think people are quite as interested. We had so many things going for us that made it such a unique and popular experience. One, the subject matter never [had] been delved into before. Two, it was derived from an international best-seller … so there were a number of things that led Roots to being the incredibly popular program it was.”


Amos also threw shade at Hollywood, saying the new “Roots” is “further evidence, for the most part, that Hollywood is creatively bankrupt. They have to keep going back to what’s been done and what’s successful because they’re pretty much out of fresh ideas.”