LeVar Burton says time is right for 'Roots' remake

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PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — LeVar Burton, who starred in the influential 1970s miniseries "Roots," said the remake is arriving at a crucial time.

"As far as we have come in the area of race relations and the topics of social justice, fairness and equality, we still have a long way to go," he told a TV critics' gathering Wednesday.

ABC's 1977 miniseries "Roots" was based on the Alex Haley novel that was inspired by stories about his family's African roots and enslavement in the American South.

The first "Roots" was a television sensation, gripping the country with its story of an African-American family's generational journey.

Burton played Kunta Kinte in the original series and is an executive producer on the remake, which stars English actor Malachi Kirby as Kunta. Other cast members include Laurence Fishburne, Anna Paquin and Forest Whitaker.

The new "Roots" will air on the History, A&E Network and Lifetime channels. The debut date has not been announced.

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