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LeVar Burton Talks Fatherhood, Mr. Rogers: ‘Television As A Ministry’

Photo from Micah Burton’s instagram

LeVar Burton Talks Fatherhood, Mr. Rogers: ‘Television As A Ministry’

By Movieguide® Contributor

LeVar Burton might be a major TV star, but for the actor, being a father always comes first. 

“I don’t know a dad who’s not overprotective. All dads are overprotective,” Burton said of his kids, Eian and Mica, whom he shares with wife, Stephanie Cozart.

The STAR TREK actor continued, “I mean, we live in a culture and in a society where that is our primary responsibility, to protect, defend and provide for. That’s why we’re here. I mean, that’s not all of why we’re here, but those are the roles that, traditionally, we are slotted into.

“I’m happy to have grown up and become a dad in an era where the job description of father has been expanded so successfully. I just think that it gives us more agency in the raising of our children, and that’s a good thing,” he added. 

His protectiveness led the READING RAINBOW host and his wife to initially discourage their daughter Mica from becoming an actress. 

“There’s so much rejection and disappointment that’s attached to this job description,” Burton explained. “I didn’t want that for my child. Show business is not designed for children. It’s just simply not.”

However, after Mica was accepted into a theater school, Burton gave her his “full and complete support.”

The pair even worked together on the third season of STAR TREK: PICARD, an experience Mica called “mind-blowing.”

“I can’t put [it] into words, let alone know that I was there with my dad, my actual real-life dad,” she said. “I feel like that’s stories that you can’t write. I’m very aware of how lucky of a human being I am.”

Burton shared his thoughts on the experience, saying, “On many levels, it was next level. Because not ever having expected this, this soon in her career, this comes as a great surprise, as well as a great gift. And she’s been a part of the STAR TREK family behind the scenes, off-camera, for the whole of her life.”

Burton also spoke about his special relationship with fellow children’s TV personality Fred Rogers. 

“He was a mentor figure for me, but we also had a real friendship that was based on love and mutual respect,” he shared. “It was extraordinary to have him in my life.”

The actor went on to talk about the religious connection he and Rogers shared and how that influenced their work in children’s TV. 

“We used to talk about using television as a ministry, as a pulpit,” Burton shared. “I was an ex-seminarian and he was a Presbyterian minister. So, what we talked about was the need and necessity to maintain a relationship with the audience that was based on our authentic selves.”

“More than anything else, Fred gave me permission to be myself, as a presenter for a children’s television show,” he added. “And what that implies is that you have to be in touch with what your authentic self is, with who you are. He caused me to think really deeply about that, to try and respond from a place that really understood and honored that concept.”

Movieguide® previously reported on the READING RAINBOW reboot, premiering without Burton:

Generations who learned to read from the PBS television classic READING RAINBOW is finally coming back as READING RAINBOW LIVE.

Unlike it’s READING RAINBOW predecessor, the program is only available via streaming on the app Looped…

In addition to becoming more interactive with the viewers, READING RAINBOW LIVE will not feature iconic host LeVar Burton. Instead, the show will be hosted by a group of 20-somethings called “The Rainbows.”

Many parents have voiced their displeasure at the change, as they grew up with Burton reading them popular children’s stories.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.