Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Meshach Taylor talks Wigger on Wendy Williams Show

Meshach Taylor © Lia Chang

Meshach Taylor © Lia Chang

My buddy Meshach Taylor breezed into Manhattan for his appearance on the “Wendy Williams Show,” which airs at 10am this morning on WNYW, FOX, Ch. 5. (Check your local listings) The Emmy award-winning actor, most familiar to film audiences as Hollywood Montrose in Mannequin and Mannequin 2: On the Move, and as Anthony Bouvier on “Designing Women,” is in town to chat up Wigger, his new film by Emmy award-winning director Dr. Omowale Akintunde. I last saw Taylor in New York when he made his Broadway debut in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as Lumiere, opposite Toni Braxton in 1998.

Wigger chronicles the world of Brandon, a young White aspiring R& B singer, emulating and immersing himself in African American life and culture, who struggles to overcome the confines of a White racist, impoverished family headed by a neo-Nazi father. Meshach Taylor, who plays the role of Mr. Pruitt, a Quincy Jones-type music producer in the short version of Wigger for Akintunde’s thesis at the New York Film Academy, reprises his role in the full length feature which opens nationwide at Edge Theaters on May 27, 2011.

In addition to Taylor, the film features Anna Maria Horsford, David Oakes, Eric Harvey, Kim Patrick, Arkeni Turner, Justin Ruff, B-Daht, Tim Jennings, Elan Garfias, Pam Paulson and Braxton Davis.

Meshach Taylor © Lia Chang

Meshach Taylor © Lia Chang

Taylor’s first professional gig was in a National tour of Hair. He honed his craft in repertory theater as a member of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, and the Organic Theater Company alongside André De Shields, Joe Mantegna, Dennis Franz, Keith Szarabajka, Jack Wallace, and director Stuart Gordon. While in Chicago, he received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Sizwe Banzo Is Dead, and an Emmy Award for his role as Jim in the WTTV production of “Huckleberry Finn.”

In 1978, Taylor moved to Los Angeles, where he has crafted a gallery of memorable characters in film and on television, including his Emmy nominated turn in the CBS sitcom “Designing Women” as Anthony Bouvier, the assistant at the fictitious Sugarbaker interior design firm in Atlanta, Georgia, starring Dixie Carter, Delta Burke, Annie Potts and Jean Smart. He was a series regular on “Dave’s World” (CBS), and has had recurring guest starring appearances on Nickelodeon’s “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” and “Buffalo Bill” (NBC) with Dabney Coleman. He has appeared on “The Unit” (CBS), “Hannah Montana” (Disney Channel), “The Drew Carey Show” (ABC), “Static Shock” (Kids WB!), “Caroline in the City” (NBC), “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters” (Nickelodeon), “Women of the House” (CBS), “In the Heat of the Night” (NBC), “Punky Brewster” (NBC), “What’s Happening Now!”, “Hill Street Blues” (NBC), “ALF” (NBC), “Melba” (CBS), “The Golden Girls” (NBC), “Cagney & Lacey” (CBS), “Barney Miller” (ABC), “M*A*S*H” (CBS), “Lou Grant” (CBS), “The White Shadow” (CBS), “The Incredible Hulk” (CBS), and “Barnaby Jones”(CBS). His made-for-TV movies include The Right Connections with MC Hammer, Sidney Sheldon’s Nothing Lasts Forever with Brooke Shields, Virtual Seduction, Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child and Double, Double, Toil and Trouble with the Olsen Twins.

Meshach Taylor and filmmaker Dr. Omowale Akintunde © Lia Chang

Meshach Taylor and filmmaker Dr. Omowale Akintunde © Lia Chang

Taylor has appeared in the feature films Mannequin and Mannequin 2: On the Move, Damien: Omen II, The Howling, Jacks or Better, Kid ‘N Play’s Class Act, How to Murder a Millionaire, David Mamet’s House of Games, The Allnighter, The Last Innocent Man with Ed Harris, Explorers, Friends and Family, The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, One More Saturday Night, Warning Sign, and Inside Out with Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason. Taylor also hosted his own series on HGTV, “The Urban Gardener with Meshach Taylor” and was a regular panelist on a revamped version of “To Tell the Truth.”

Dr. Omowale Akintunde, Chair of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Black Studies Department, is a filmmaker (Communion, Mama ‘n ‘Em), and a prolific writer, well published in the subjects of education, race relations and diversity. He is the author of two books “Multiculturalism and the Teacher Education Experience” as well as a children’s book “The Adventures of Darrell and the Invincible Man”. Akintundes received a 2010 Emmy Award for his short film An Inaugural Ride to Freedom. The hour-long documentary shows how members of the Black Studies Department, students and members of the community traveled to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Below are special screening dates for Wigger at select locations around the country.
May 19, 2011 Birmingham, AL
The Edge 12 Theater
7001 Crestwood Boulevard
Birmingham, Al
Red Carpet Arrival 6:30
Movie Screening 7:30
May 24, 2011 Las Vegas, NV
Galaxy Theatre, Cannery Hotel and Casino
2121 East Craig Road
North Las Vegas, NV
Red Carpet Arrival 6:30
Movie Screening 7:00
May 26, 2011 Los Angeles, CA
July 14, 2011 New York NY
July 18, 2011 Washington DC
August 15, 2011 Special Premiere and Conference in Denver, CO.
For more information and tickets check out

Other Articles by Lia Chang
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Photos: Working Theater’s Production of Rob Ackerman’s CALL ME WALDO at Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex through March 11, 2012
Photos: Larry Bryggman, Denise Burse, Peter Jay Fernandez, Tim Hopper, Arliss Howard, Kobi Libii, Mary McCann, Neil Pepe, David Pittu, Steve Rosen, Sheila Tapia, Debra Winger at Atlantic Theatre’s Opening Night of Gabe McKinley’s CQ/CX
Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot, starring Colman Domingo & Scott Shepherd in The Alice Griffith Jewel Box at The Pershing Square Signature Center through March 11, 2012
Linsanity: Sport Illustrated Cover Guy New York Knicks Starting Point Guard Jeremy Lin Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Up Close and Personal with Darren Pettie, Star of The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2011 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

One comment on “Lia Chang: Meshach Taylor talks Wigger on Wendy Williams Show

  1. michael brewer
    July 5, 2011

    Hi Lia,

    Great story and bio on Meshach Taylor. Here’s something else you may be interested in: a sci-fi action thriller with an Asian lead and Meshach!! Michael Chat stars in “Photo Finish,” a short pilot presentation about a camera that takes pictures of the future.
    I’m Michael Brewer the Director and Director of Photography of the film and you can see the :90 sizzle reel at:
    The executive producer is also Asian and I had many people of Asian decent on the crew. Would you be interested in doing a story on “Photo Finish?”

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