Actor Jaleel White Recalls Tatyana Ali Standing Him Up On Grad Night: “She Wasn’t Into Me”

Jaleel White appeared on the #ImNotLaughin’ Podcast, hosted by his Family Matters co-stars Darius McCrary and Kellie Shanygne Williams and co-host Jenny Babas. There, the actor revealed that he was being set up to go to a Grad Night party with actress and singer Tatyana Ali. Jaleel White stated that it was in 1994 that this occurred. According to the actor, Grad Night is a gathering of all the high schools in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas at Disneyland for seniors to celebrate graduation. White admitted that he did not desire to attend his school’s prom, but he went due to his mother. But as it pertained to Grad Night, Jaleel White was being set up on a date with none other than Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Tatyana Ali.

By then, the two actors had worked together on The Jaleel White Special on ABC in 1992. Jaleel White described his relationship with the actress at the time as “little kids adversarial.” In addition, he shared that he was a bit reluctant to be set up with Tatyana Ali for Grad Night, although he admits she was very attractive. But the Hustle actor revealed his belief that she wasn’t really into him. 

Although initially reluctant, Jaleel White shared that his mother reached out to Tatyana Ali’s mother for the date to be set up. As a result, the actress agreed to attend the event held at the Disneyland resort. However, everything changed the night before they were to make their grand entrance. Jaleel White detailed that Tatyana Ali left him a message on his phone’s answering machine, which turned out to be disappointing. According to White, Ali shared that she couldn’t attend Grad Night with him because she was slated to begin filming a movie in Canada. “We have to fly out this weekend, so I’m so sorry. And I hope you have a great time,” the actor tells of her message.

Jaleel White revealed that Tatyana Ali’s message left him feeling both “hurt” and “f*****d up.” He concluded that the actress never really wanted to go to Grad Night with him in the first place. In addition, Tatyana Ali was in a relationship with seaQuest DSV actor Jonathan Brandis, whom she dated from 1995 to 1998.  

The actor then revealed that the very same movie Tatyana Ali was going to Canada to film also co-starred Darius McCrary, called Kidz in the Wood. But she was unaware that McCrary would be attending Grad Night with them. This reason helped Jaleel White to realize she never intended to attend, leaving him “dateless” and “sad” for Grad Night. However, Jaleel White and Tatyana Ali worked together following the failed date. In addition, the actor made a guest appearance on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air the following year as a young man with whom Ashley Banks was considering getting intimate.

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