Regina Hall demanded the writers of her TV comedy Black Monday remove a joke mocking the late Whitney Houston’s drug problems.
The show is set during the run-up to the October 1987 stock market crash that was the worst in Wall Street history. Back then Whitney was known as a clean-cut popstar, but passed away in 2012 after battling drug problems for years.
Speaking during a Hollywood Reporter Comedy Actress Roundtable, Regina revealed that she demanded a joke about the I Will Always Love You hitmaker was cut from the script out of respect.
“There was a joke, and I can’t remember, but it was a joke I think about drugs and it was about Whitney Houston, and I was like, ‘I don’t want to say that,'” she remembered. “Artists give so much … and so to make fun of what was a challenge and an illness. … The great thing about our writers is they were like, ‘Absolutely. We’ll just do something else.'”
The show, which also stars Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells, and Paul Scheer, focuses on a fictional second-tier Wall Street firm, which unusually employs traders from minority backgrounds, including Regina’s character Dawn Darcy.
Explaining her character, she added: “It was great to be in the ’80s and be successful, and be in a world that, no matter what colour you are, a woman who’s Spanish, black, white – they just weren’t really in Wall Street, and they still really aren’t, so to represent a demographic that’s not normally present in a world even today was fun.”