Sam and Samuel — together again.
KTLA-TV entertainment reporter Sam Rubin, who gained what he called "global" notoriety last month after Samuel L. Jackson blasted him for confusing the African American actor with Laurence Fishburne during a live interview, faced off with Jackson for the first time since the blowup.
Rubin spotlighted his chat with Jackson on a "KTLA Morning News" segment Thursday morning that apparently was meant to take a swipe at some of the harsh criticism Rubin has received over the earlier Jackson interview. The new interview with Jackson took place during a junket for the upcoming "Captain America" film, in which Jackson plays Nick Fury.
There was no mention of "Captain America" during the interview. The segment was geared to let Rubin put himself in a positive light, downplaying the significance and impact of his mistake.
Rubin said that he had a feeling that Jackson was unaware he was lashing out specifically against Rubin during the February interview, which was conducted via satallite. The reporter was in KTLA's Hollywood studios while Jackson, who was then promoting his film "RoboCop," was in another location.
Rubin at that time asked Jackson about reaction "from that Super Bowl commericial" that had aired the day before. A confused Jackson asked, "What Super Bowl commercial?" Jackson instantly realized that Rubin was confusing him with Fishburne, who was featured in a Kia commercial broadcast during the football game.
"You're as crazy as those people on Twitter," scolded Jackson, pointing a finger at the camera. "I'm not Laurence Fishburne. We don't all look alike!"
As Rubin continued to look embarrassed, Jackson continued, "You're the entertainment reporter? 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."
When Rubin brought up the tirade during the "Captain America" junket, Jackson said he didn't know he was talking to Rubin: "Yeah, yeah, I couldn't see you."
The actor said he was surprised the episode got so much attention and said he was not angry: "I was having a good time."
Jackson added that he also came under fire for berating Rubin: "A lot of people ... thought I was being racist or something. It was really strange."
Rather than questioning Jackson on how he felt about that reaction, Rubin continued to make nice. The two assured each other there were no hard feelings and shook hands, though Jackson quipped that he almost wore his "I'm Not Laurence Fishburne" T-shirt.
Rubin went on to say that he didn't believe his new interview with Jackson would get any attention "because nobody's yelling, there's less heat but more light. In this day and age, that light seems to matter less and less."
However, he failed to note that much of the heat from the February incident was generated by him as he conducted numerous interviews and talked about it on later newscasts as if he were pleased with all the attention he was receiving.