Carroll O'Connor: ''Television producers are cruel''
''They can kill you.''
It shouldn't shock anyone to learn that Carroll O'Connor was just as outspoken as his role on TV, Archie Bunker. While the actor and his character may not align politically, they have strong convictions in common. The difference is O'Connor learned and changed, while Archie did not. With change, sometimes, comes conflict.
In a 1974 interview with the Baltimore Evening Sun, O'Connor detailed his grievances with the people behind the scenes of All in the Family.
"I've been asking the producers for two years for some administrative changes, and they aren't forthcoming. I've got about 92 percent of what I wanted from the show, but time is running out. They can get someone else to do Archie."
While Archie Bunker was the role that made him instantly famous, O'Connor had a long career in acting prior to All in the Family. He had plenty of experiences to compare with his current lot in life. Before starring in the Norman Lear-developed series, O'Connor had 26 film credits.
"I don't like the feeling of being owned by producers. Television producers are cruel and they can kill you. Movie producers are much nicer and take better care of you."
With the clarity of hindsight, we know that at the time of this interview, O'Connor was nowhere near finished portraying Archie Bunker. But at the time, he remained steadfast in the press that his problems weren't resolved.
"I cannot at this moment plan to go on with All in the Family," said O'Connor in '74. He'd continue with the show in its original format through 1979.