Both Esther Rolle (Florida Evans) and John Amos (James Evans) were expecting “Good Times” to be a comedy that dealt with serious issues in a smart way that was positive. But Jimmie Walker’s character of J.J. was such a big hit on the show with his phrase “Dy-no-mite!” and somewhat coonish behavior, so writers focused on him after a while. Eventually, both Rolle and Amos were upset about direction of the show and were ready to go. Rolle had this to say about the character of J.J. in Ebony back in ’75.
“He’s 18 and he doesn’t work. He can’t read or write. He doesn’t think. The show didn’t start out to be that…Little by little—with the help of the artist, I suppose, because they couldn’t do that to me—they have made J.J. more stupid and enlarged the role. Negative images have been slipped in on us through the character of the oldest child.”