If you’ve never actually felt sympathy for a TV reporter caught in an embarrassing on-air flub, get ready to meet Sam Rubin.
The veteran KTLA entertainment reporter was conducting a live remote interview with Samuel L. Jackson yesterday morning.
Jackson was there to talk about his role in the RoboCop remake. And everything was just peachy until Rubin revealed that he thought he was talking to a different black actor.
Rubin’s opening query: “Did you get a lot of reaction from that Super Bowl commercial?”
Apparently Rubin thought he was chatting with Laurence Fishburne, the star of The Matrix film series, who recently appeared in a high-profile Kia TV spot that aired on the day of the big game.
“What Super Bowl commercial?” asked a genuinely perplexed Jackson. And then you can actually see the actor putting two and two together and realizing that Rubin has mistaken him for Fishburne.
To his credit, Jackson, perhaps known for his short-tempered performances in films like Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained, managed to rein in his reaction.
“You’re as crazy as the people on Twitter,” he shot back, before clarifying, “I’m not Laurence Fishburne.”
And with a steely glare, Jackson added, “We don’t all look alike!”
Rubin, who somehow managed to maintain his composure, tried to defuse the issue by saying, “I am guilty!” but Jackson wasn’t going to let it go.
“You’re the entertainment reporter for this station and you don’t know the difference between me and Laurence Fishburne? There must be a very short line for your job.”
At which point it appeared that Jackson actually felt a little sorry for the reporter, and got on with the interview.
Shortly after, Rubin was allowed to apologize for his gaffe on the KTLA newscast, although the mea culpa came with the insistence that he really did know who he was talking to.
“First and foremost, I do know who Samuel L. Jackson is,” Rubin stated on air. “I pride myself on the fact that, unlike a lot of people who do this kind of work, more often than not, I really do know what I’m talking about, but I didn’t 30 minutes ago.
“And I’m really embarrassed about it, and I very much apologize to Samuel L. Jackson and anyone else who was offended by what was a very amateur mistake.”
That’s fine, Sam. But if you’re ever talking to Samuel L. Jackson again and he starts quoting Ezekiel 25:17, you should probably run for the hills.