Samuel L. Jackson and Laurence Fishburne do not have much in common, other than that they are Oscar-nominated actors who happen to be African-American. So that's probably why Jackson ripped into "Good Day L.A." entertainment anchor Sam Rubin during a live interview on Feb. 10, 2014, on KTLA-TV (the Fox affiliate in Los Angeles), when Rubin asked Jackson a question in which Rubin mixed up the identities of Jackson and Fishburne.
Jackson (who was interviewed by satellite TV from Atlanta) was on "Good Day L.A." to promote his movie "RoboCop" (which opens in the U.S. and Canada on Feb. 12, 2014) when Rubin made the on-air gaffe by referring to a Kia commercial starring Fishburne that premiered during Super Bowl XLVIII.
Rubin said to Jackson, "Working for Marvel, the Super Bowl commercial, did you get a lot of reaction to that Super Bowl commercial?"
Jackson replied, "What Super Bowl commercial?"
Rubin then nervously paused and looked off-camera.
Jackson continued, "See, you're as crazy as the people on Twitter. I'm not Laurence Fishburne! We don't all look alike! We may be all black and famous, but we don't look alike!"
Rubin apologized repeatedly and tried to change the subject back to "RoboCop," but Jackson continued his rant, while laughing at Rubin: "You're the entertainment reporter? And you don't know the difference between me and Laurence Fishburne? There must be a very short line for your job. I'm the 'What's in your wallet' black guy. And I've actually never done a McDonalds or a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial. I know that's surprising."
Rubin tried to make light of the matter by saying he deserved a "spanking" for his mistake. Rubin then commented on the interview: "That is a tape now that I believe is going to have a life all of its own." (His prediction was correct, since the video of the interview quickly went viral.)
Jackson eventually calmed down, and the interview eventually got back on track to talking about "RoboCop."
Rubin later issued a formal apology through a statement: "I indicated to Samuel that I’d seen him during the Super Bowl, and he thought that I had confused him with the commercial Laurence Fishburne had done for a car company. Of course a 'Captain America; ad had also run during the Super Bowl, but I immediately felt so dumb, I didn’t bring that up — and he gave me the shellacking that was well-deserved."
People on the Internet who are commenting on the interview have had mixed reactions. While some people are saying that Rubin deserved to be chastised by Jackson, other people think Jackson was too harsh on Rubin.
Regardless of how people feel about the interview, it's all extra publicity for Jackson and his "RoboCop" movie, which is a remake of the 1987 film of the same name. Jackson often plays tough, no-nonsense characters, so his verbal takedown of Rubin just adds to that image.