Lear, cast of 'Good Times,' disagreed about parenting, not race

Famed TV show creator Norman Lear talks about his phenomenal career and the new documentary about his life, 'Just Another Version of You.'

- Famed TV producer Norman Lear created the first TV show to star an African American family in the iconic comedy series, 'Good Times.'

But it wasn't all good times behind the scenes.

Lear, the subject of the new documentary, 'Just Another Version of You,' describes the tension.

"They (the cast) had a giant responsibility that I did not have, they represented their race. They were the first people to do so on television. They were very sensitive with a show that examined black families," said Lear.

It was a perspective that Lear acknowledges he did not feel because he had not experienced it, but the struggles of family life he knew all too well.

"I had lived through all the things that parents and brothers and sons had lived through. The fact is we disagreed with things that had to do with parents. I didn’t think there was a difference between a black parent and a white parent and a green parent. It doesn’t matter," says Lear.

The 93-year-old creator of other hit series including 'All In The Family,' 'Maude,' One Day At A Time,' The Jeffersons,' and 'Sanford and Son,' had his own, difficult perspective to bring to the TV screen: he had been left to fend for himself at the age of nine.

"My father went to prison when I was nine years old. My mother and sister disappeared. Somehow I had to get through it and get to the other side," says Lear who was ultimately raised by his grandparents.

And move on he has, just shy of his 94th birthday, Lear is behind the new remake of the TV show, 'One Life To Live' featuring a Latina cast.

Actresses Rita Moreno and Justina Machado will be among the star-studded line-up.

'Just Another Version of You' is available in theaters nationwide. It will also air in PBS American Masters and streamed on NetFlix.

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