fb-pixel Skip to main content

Academy confuses Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard

A screenshot of the now-deleted tweet

Though this year’s crop of Emmy nominees includes 21 actors of color (marking the award show’s most racially inclusive array of stars to date), the ceremony itself got off to a dismaying start by misidentifying actor (and Emmy presenter) Terrence Howard as Cuba Gooding Jr.

In a tweet that has since been deleted, the Television Academy stated that Gooding, who’s nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series tonight for his turn in FX’s “American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson,” was arriving at the red carpet when it was in fact Howard, the star of “Empire.”

The Television Academy quickly fixed the mistake and provided correct identification, but it has not yet addressed the blunder.


This is just the latest instance of actors of color being misidentified by the media.

Last year, the Golden Globes’ official Twitter account misidentified “Superstore” actress America Ferrera as “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez, ultimately issuing an apology for mixing up the two Latina actresses.

Ferrera tackled the issue head-on while presenting at that year’s ceremony with Eva Longoria, with the pair referencing the incident and also noting that “neither one of us are Rosario Dawson.”

In a 2014 incident that went viral, “The Hateful Eight” actor Samuel L. Jackson took an L.A. newscaster to task for confusing him with another black actor, Laurence Fishburne. “I’m not Laurence Fishburne,” he fired back at the time. “We don’t all look alike. We may be all black and famous but we don’t all look alike.”

The corrected tweet:

Isaac Feldberg can be reached by email at isaac.feldberg@globe.com, or on Twitter at @i_feldberg.