We Found “Harpo” & The Regular Job He’s Held For 2 Decades
Anybody who’s ever seen The Color Purple would probably agree that there is no way we could ever forget that classic line ‘Sofia’ (Oprah Winfrey) said to ‘Celie’ (Whoopi Goldberg): “You told Harpo to beat me!” The year was 1985 when Oprah declared “All my life I’s had to fight. … I loves Harpo, Lawd knows i do, but I’ll KILL HIM dead ‘fo I let him beat me!”
After The Color Purple, actor, Willard E. Pugh had several roles in various films, including Toy Soldier, The Hills Have Eyes Part 2, Robo Cop II, Air Force One and many more. However, in between the acting gigs, his steady stream of income has been earned from his regular occupation. Therefore, one black eye (thanks to “Sofia”) and 32 years post-Color Purple, now 57 year old “Harpo” a.k.a Willard, lives a very different lifestyle these days. He’s no longer the juke-joint owning son of “Mister” (Danny Glover), nor is he still trying to be the dominant husband to “Squeaky” (Rae Dawn Chong)…
He Loves His Regular Job
As you can see, he hasn’t changed much. I’m almost willing to bet that this brotha can’t go anywhere without at least one person recognizing him and calling him “Harpo.” Hopefully he’s cool with that, because it’s actually difficult NOT to call him “Harpo.”
These days,Willard E. Pugh has added the title of Probation Officer to his name. In fact, P.O. has been his full time career for the past 26 years.Willard currently works and lives in California and he’s very proud of his job as a P.O., although he admits that he hates seeing so many African American men entering his workspace everyday, as they step through the prison doors to do their time. He’s also involved with non-profit organizations that are focused on helping people within his community.
Don’t get it twisted though, Pugh is still getting his acting on. He also had a lot to say recently, about the prison system, racial views in Hollywood and actors with criminal pasts.
Watch Hilarious Video Of Willard E. Pugh Roasting Former Co-Star, Margaret “Shug”Avery
Willard Pugh Gives His Views On “White America”
In a prior interview with ‘We All Be TV,’ Willard talked about his job as a probation officer and his thoughts on actors with criminal backgrounds, like Samuel Jackson and Charles S. Dutton (The Roc actor). Check out what Willard said below..
Pugh On The Jail System vs. Slavery
“Jail is just a new form of slavery…when they couldn’t keep selling cotton and doing all the other things they were doing, then they moved us to the prisons. […] I’m a probation officer, that’s my full time job when I’m not acting. … So I see ‘em coming and going, and it’s a very high volume, money making business. The more they lock up, the more money we make. And I always tell my boys [the prisoners] ‘Put me out of business, make me have to find another job. That’s what I want you to do. Because if you’re not going to jail, I’ve got nobody to lock up…nobody to supervise.'”
On Hollywood Wanting Black Actors With Criminal Records
When asked his thoughts on the exceptions to the rule with African American actors – like Charles S. Dutton and Samuel Jackson- who were once convicted criminals and later changed their lives and became superstars, Willard had this to say:
“That’s another story too. That’s a twist on White America. They’ll take a guy who ..murdered somebody and make him a star. I never committed a crime and can’t get arrested, LOL. They [America and Hollywood] don’t like positive, they like negative, LOL.”
“I love Samuel Jackson, but guess what? Sam was a drug addict. And now look what they took him to the level of. I never did drugs a day in my life. A lot of people never did ‘em and we can’t get arrested, LOL. So now you’re telling me living a clean life and doing the right thing and being God fearing…what good does that bring you? See what I mean? That’s the message that they’re [America] sending.”
These days, Willard is still acting and is set to star in an upcoming independent film by Avondale Pictures, titled The Faith Club. Keep doing your thing Willard E. Pugh! We see you!
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