Queen Latifah Recalls the Time Cicely Tyson ‘Pulled My Coattail’ on Live TV: ‘You’re Never Too Big to Get Checked'

Queen Latifah has a memory of the late Cicely Tyson that she won't soon forget.

"Ms. Cicely Tyson pulled my coattail one time," The Equalizer star, 50, currently featured on the cover of PEOPLE in celebration of Black trailblazers then and now, recounted on the People Every Day podcast of her and Tyson's moment of truth.

In 2014, while hosting her talk show The Queen Latifah Show, Tyson gave the star some tough love during a live interview, for which she was a guest alongside Blair Underwood and Vanessa Williams.

"I was doing my talk show and was happy and excited, but nervous. And I saw this question pop up on my prompter, and I knew that I wasn't supposed to read the question the way it was written before I even got it out. And it was something like, 'So do you guys so-and-so?'"

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That's when she said Tyson cut in. "Wait a minute. I'm not 'you guys,'" she recalled Tyson saying.

Queen Latifah immediately apologized for addressing the legendary actress in such a casual way, saying, "Excuse me, Ms. Tyson, you are absolutely right. I apologize, my bad. I'm so sorry."

She told PEOPLE, "I [wasn't] raised that way. I was raised better than that. So I knew before it was even out of my mouth, I knew." 

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She was also grateful for the correction.

"I appreciated that she did that because you are never too big to get checked. You know what I mean? And some people think they're too big to get checked," said Queen Latifah. "If you're wrong, you're wrong, and I was wrong. And she let me know that was inappropriate, and I appreciated her letting me know that because it just brought me back."

It was far from their only interaction and the star said she was grateful to have received many more hugs than criticisms from Tyson.

Still, she added, "We all need that person that could help us get back to the humility in us, to doing the right things. Nobody's perfect, but I'm very fortunate to have real people around me who keep it a buck with me."

The Equalizer airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on CBS.

  • With Falen Hardge


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