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15 Famous People Opened Up About The Racism They’ve Faced In Hollywood, And It’s Not Right

It’s no secret that racism is alive and well in Hollywood. While we have seen some push for diversity in recent years, we have a LONG way to go. So, here are 15 celebrities who have opened up about the racism they’ve faced during their careers:

During a 2020 interview with entertainment tonightTia recalled, “So, my sister [Tamera] and I wanted to be on the cover of this very popular [teenage] magazine of the time. They told us we couldn’t be on the cover of the magazine because we were black and we wouldn’t sell.”

During a Vulture interview in 2018, the actress said that she was unaware that she had received an offer to play Eve in killing eve because of internalized racism. “When I got the script for killing eveI remember I was walking through Brooklyn and I was on the phone with my agent, Nancy. I was quickly scrolling through the script, and I really can’t tell you what I was looking for. So, I said, ‘So, Nancy, I don’t understand, what’s the part?’ And Nancy’s like, ‘Honey, I’m Eve, I’m Eve.

“It’s like, how does your job define racism? Oh my gosh, I didn’t even assume when I was offered something that I would be one of the central narrators. Why? And this is me speaking, right? After I was told Seeing things a certain way for decades, you realize, ‘My God! I was brainwashed!’ I was brainwashed! So that was a revelation to me.”

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During a 2019 interview with Elle, the actor recalled when The office was nominated for an Emmy. The Television Academy told her that there were too many producers on the show that she, the only person of color, would be cut from the list. To be included, “they forced me, not any of the other producers, to fill out a comprehensive form and write an essay about all of my contributions as a writer and producer.”

Shortly after the interview, the Academy released a statement saying, “No one was singled out.” In response, Mindy tweeted that she was “the youngest person and woman of color.”

Respectfully, the Academy’s statement doesn’t make any sense. I *was* singled out. There were other Office writers, performers, and producers who were NOT removed from the list. Just me. The youngest person and woman of color. The easiest to discard. Just say’.

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Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Hulu/Mindy Kaling/ Twitter: @mindykaling

In 2016, the actress told the New York Times about her first audition as a teenager. She recalled that they asked her to sound more Latin. “She had no idea what she was talking about. ‘You mean you want me to speak Spanish?’ She’s like, ‘No. Do it in English but it sounds more Latin.’ I didn’t really realize until later that she was asking me to speak English with a clipped accent. It confused me, because I thought, ‘I’m Latin, am I not?’ How does a Latino sound?’”

She also shared that her previous manager didn’t even believe in her. “I just won [a top award at Sundance]Y [my manager] he wanted me to audition for the chubby latina girl in a pilot. She wasn’t even the lead; she was just the partner, with the same joke in every scene. I said, ‘I’m not going in for that. When I finally left him, he [told] another one of my representatives, ‘Someone should tell that girl that she has an unrealistic idea of ​​what she can achieve in this industry.’ She was someone she was paying to represent me.”

In 2020, the actor filed a discrimination complaint against NBC and the producers of america’s got talent. Variety reported that Gabrielle received “excessive comments” about her appearance, including one that her hairstyles were “too black” for the show.

Gabrielle has spoken about her experience in AGT numerous times. During an interview with Variety, she recalled Jay Leno appearing as a guest judge and making a racist joke. “My first big interview in this industry, the first person who ever let me on his talk show, was Jay Leno. I’ve always held him in high regard, but I wasn’t prepared for his joke. I gasped. I froze. They had already happened other things, but at this point, it was so savagely racist.”

“You can’t edit what we just experienced. There is no edit button in my brain or in my soul. Experiencing this kind of racism in my job and doing nothing about it, no discipline, no company wide email, no reminder of what is appropriate in the workplace?” she concluded.

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After news broke that the actor would be playing the male lead in crazy rich asians, he received a wave of backlash from people who claimed he wasn’t “Asian enough”. He told Bustle, “Just because I’m not completely Asian by blood doesn’t mean I can’t own my Asianness. And I relate to my Asian side a lot more.”

In 2016, he told the New York Times, “Some white casting director was dictating what it meant to be Latino. He decided he needed an accent. He decided he should [have] darker colored skin. Guardians aren’t usually people of color, so they don’t understand that you should be looking for a lot more colors of the rainbow within that ethnicity.”

During a 2018 Women in the World event, the actor said, “I’ve gotten the Oscar, I’ve gotten the Emmy, I’ve gotten both Tonys, I’ve done Broadway, I’ve done Off-Broadway, I’ve done TV, I’ve done film, I’ve done it all. I’ve a career that’s probably comparable to Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Sigourney Weaver. They all came out of Yale, they came out of Juilliard, they came out of NYU. They were on the same path as me, and yet I’m nowhere near them, not in terms of money, not in terms of job opportunities, not even close to that.

In 2019, the actor told the San Francisco Chronicle, “Sometimes I get criticized because people say, ‘Why don’t they give these roles to a real Indian?’ I wonder what does that mean the only way I can converse with my grandparents is in Gujarati does that make me real enough or am I only allowed to witness the moments of prejudice and racism in airports what is the only thing I am allowed from culture?

In 2015, she told the Telegraph that she hardly ever saw Asian actors on screen as a child. “There’s definitely still a lot of room for improvement. I’ve been lucky in my career, but yeah, there’s been a lot of times I’ve been told my audition was canceled because they’re only going to watch white people.”

During a 2018 interview with Bustle, the actor said, “Casting directors use a program called Breakdown Services when they’re looking for actors where they name the project, the producers, and the director, and descriptions of each character. And at the end, they always says: “Latin. Black. Caucasian.” Growing up, those listings were so specific that even if a role sounded perfect for you, if it said white, you couldn’t get in.”

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During a 2020 interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, the actress reflected on the difficulties she faced early in her career. “I think I was too naive and didn’t know what I was in for or what I was going to face. I had an idea when I got to Los Angeles, because a friend of mine would have 10 auditions in a day or a week, and maybe he would have two or three in a month, so I knew it was going to be a lot more limited for me.”

In 2019, she told Variety, “Everyone was willing to have me on their roster, but they didn’t commit to me because they didn’t know, realistically, how many auditions I could get. The challenge from the beginning was just diversity, and ‘I really don’t know. we know what to do with you’ and ‘There won’t be much work for you’”.

After rumors spread that the actor would become the next James Bond, he faced a lot of backlash. In 2019, he told Vanity Fair, “You just get bummed out when people, from a generational standpoint, say, ‘It can’t be.’” And it really turns out to be the color of my skin. And then if I get it, and it didn’t work, or it worked, was it because of the color of my skin? That’s a tough position to put myself in when I don’t need to.”

During a 2019 interview with Teen Vogue, the actress revealed that she was not given an audition for crazy rich asians. “Their reasoning behind that, what they said was that my image was basically not Asian enough, simply put. He broke my heart. I can’t even audition for that? I’ve auditioned for Caucasian roles my entire career, but this specific role, aren’t you going to let me do it? Are you going to blame me for working all my life? ‘ I was like, ‘Where do I fit in?’”


And finally Halle Bailey

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Since the announcement that Halle would be starring in the upcoming live-action remake of The little Mermaid, trolls have expressed their outrage on social media. After the trailer dropped earlier this month, there was a resurgence of backlash over a Black Ariel.

During an interview with Variety, Halle shared that the backlash hurt. She turned to her grandparents and listened to their stories of overcoming racism and discrimination. “It was inspiring and beautiful to hear her words of encouragement from her, saying to me, ‘You don’t understand what this is doing for us, for our community, for all the black and brown girls that are going to look at you.’”

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