We’ve all had our share of do-over moments. Most of us don’t stick out feet into our gaping mouths on live television however. In an uncomfortable exchange with actor Samuel L. Jackson, interviewer Sam Rubin mistook Jackson for fellow black actor Laurence Fishburne during a KTLA interview that aired Monday.
Rubin was interviewing Jackson regarding his recent Robocop film, or at least trying to, when he mistakenly asked Jackson about his Super Bowl commercial – a Kia ad that was done by Fishburne, playing his Morpheus role from "The Matrix."
"Did you get a lot of reaction from that Super Bowl commercial?" the TV anchor asked.
"What Super Bowl commercial?" Jackson asked, bewildered.
Rubin knows he’s busted at that point, and deadpans off camera for a moment before spending the next two minutes trying to apologize. Jackson, however, is relentless, pulling out every typical black racial stereotype and hammering on the anchor.
"You're as crazy as the people on Twitter," the 65-year-old actor said. "I'm not Laurence Fishburne. We don't all look alike. We may be all black and famous, but we all don't look alike. You're busted."
Jackson kept a smirk on his face, but he was clearly ticked off.
"You're the entertainment reporter for this station?" he asked. "And you don't know the difference between me and Laurence Fishburne? There must be a very short line for your job."
Rubin tried to redirect back to the topic of Jackson’s movie, but the actor wouldn’t have it.
"Oh hell no!" Jackson said, still stunned by the anchor's mistake. "Really? I'm the other guy."
Trying to think of something, Rubin asks: "Do we want to do a list of all the people you're not?"
"I have actually never done a McDonald's or Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial," Jackson quipped. "I know that's surprising."
Rubin later gave an on air apology, and said his “verbal shellacking” was well deserved.
“I pride myself on the fact — that unlike a lot of people who do this kind of work — more often than not, I really do know what I’m talking about," he added. "I’m really embarrassed about (what happened), and I very much apologize to Samuel L. Jackson and anyone else who was offended for what was a very amateur mistake.”