Blair Underwood, star of the hit show Quantico, revealed that he had initially rejected the opportunity of appearing on the popular series, Sex and the City, as he did not want to essay a token black character.

He played Dr. Robert Leeds, the love interest of lawyer Miranda Hobbes, portrayed by Cynthia Nixon, in the show's sixth season in 2003. But the star said that he was originally approached to appear on a one-off basis opposite Kim Cattrell's character, PR guru Samantha Jones, in the third season, reported aceshowbiz.com

Rejected the role

However, Underwood rejected the role of a top record executive whose sister takes issue with interracial relationships, because the storyline of the "No Ifs, Ands or Butts" episode was too stereotypical for his liking.

Blair Underwood
Blair Underwood Wikimedia Commons

Discussing his time on Sex and the City on Netflix's Strong Black Lead podcast, he said: "I said no first, two years prior, because there was an episode... Kim Cattrell's character wanted to be with a black man and it was all about the curiosity. 'What's it like to be with a black man? Are the rumours true?' And I said, 'Thank you, but no thank you. I appreciate it and I'm honoured.' And I mean that, I don't take that lightly when people offer you a job. But I said, 'I'm not interested in being the black curiosity, but thank you.'"

Wife urged him to take the role the second time

Producers later reached out with another proposal for the part of Dr. Leeds, and this time, Underwood's wife, Desiree DaCosta, urged him to take on the gig, which featured a five-episode story arc.

"Two years later, they came back and had an offer to come join the show," Underwood shared. "And I said, 'Is it going to be about his race or is he going to be a human being?' They said, 'Naw, he's a doctor that's in her building who she meets in the elevator and they hit it off.' That was important. I only did five episodes and they only mentioned it (interracial relationship) once because it's obvious," he added. "You don't have to talk about the black guys. It's obvious what you are."

(With inputs from agencies)