Tyler James Williams is speaking out about his "traumatic" experience as a child star on Everybody Hates Chris.
In an interview with GQ, Williams, 30, reflected on his time on the sitcom from 2005 to 2009, People reports. Williams said one of the show's producers told him: "I'll never see you as anything else and you'll probably never work again."
"I was like, 'Holy s---, you really just looked at me and said that,'" Williams recalled thinking. The Abbott Elementary star noted that the passing comment could've been a joke, but he still took it to heart.
After Everybody Hates Chris ended, Williams changed his career path with the understanding that young celebrities tend to get pigeonholed into playing teen roles.
"I realized at 17 that I didn't like the road I was on," Williams said. "So I decided to stop and pivot. I got with a really good acting coach and I turned down every single thing I was offered."
Williams ended his hiatus from acting when he took a role in 2014's Dear White People along with appearances on The Walking Dead and Criminal Minds. The Everybody Hates Chris alum now has a Golden Globe to his name for his role on Abbott Elementary.
Though his experience may have been "traumatic," Williams said his time on Everybody Hates Chris taught him "to carry a show in a matter of two or three months. It's the most useful information I've ever gotten in my life."