The December 2007 issue of Essence magazine features an article highlighting popular black actresses Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long and Gabrielle Union. This article was timely as I was just planning posts on these three. I expect to start soon with Sanaa Lathan.
In the article, the women talk about various topics. In particular, they chime in on the problems they face in Hollywood as it relates to them getting work and securing good roles and equal pay. I have highlighted some of their comments from the article.
Really, today’s Hollywood black actress -- their current state -- in 2007, almost 2008 -– is AN ABOMINATION... an atrocity of monumental significance.
Their story has been told before. Many times.
The whole racism thing in Hollywood is well documented in books, papers, blogs, newspapers, magazines, radio interviews and other forms of media. This has been lamented over for decades.
There is no possibility that this injustice will disappear from the public eye as it is
repeated reported so often. These three women have legitimate complaints. I’m sure, alone in their private time, in the sanctity of their solitude, they probably feel great pain. They have the right to feel the way they do. And really, their plight can’t be repeated enough. Hollywood is so unfair and cruel to them… and other black actresses. So very cruel.
I look forward to perusing the articles that outline the steps we (Black Americans) are taking to remedy the intolerance we face in the industry. Maybe I’m missing those articles. And I mean bigger steps than the presence of Spike Lee and John Singleton or our recent Oscar winners. Of course, these are big steps. But there are many more steps to take if we hope for fairness and justice.
When will our dialog focus on viable solutions to this… or have we accepted that this will be the state of affairs forever?
On working in Hollywood
“… it’s the first time that I’ll be able to do some real accent work.”
When I read this, I felt sad. I’m glad Sanaa Lathan is finally being given this opportunity… an opportunity she has obviously hoped for.
Nia Long states that… even though she had been in the business for ten years, her paycheck didn’t reflect that. Nor did her lifestyle. And she doesn’t feel she was justly rewarded (monetarily) for all the movies she did in that ten years.
“[Being] Black women in Hollywood… It is just the burden that we have to bear,” quips Long.
Yes; it is. I wonder, for how long.
“I could make a living doing Black urban romantic comedies for the rest of my life…. But am I growing as an artist?”
Chile, you ain’t neva lied. I’m so glad she is questioning this! The answer is no. The answer is noooooooooooooooooooo.
Union states, “Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of choosing what is best for us or even what we are best suited for.”
So how is this reality going to be created?
The following is a bit off topic on the blog but I had to throw it in.
“… they’ll complain on the blogs that we don’t have enough black stars. Well, you rip us to shreds every two seconds from our nose to the weave to the clothes to the shoes to the ashy ankles.”
Y’all, I fell out when I read this. :) LMMFAO.
"Listen, if I didn’t have to go to work and deal with getting my hair and makeup done by a white crew… I wouldn’t have a weave. If I felt like I could go in there, and they could take care of my natural hair-but they don’t know how to.”
Poor Nia. Really? Ah, Nia… I weep for you. *** Sniff. Sniff ***
on when her
hair was lookin' a hot mess cornrowed hairstyle was frizzy… and what the papps did.
“... but you know how with cornrows they get frizzy. So, … me and Gab went out one night and [the bloggers] tore me to shreds. “
ha ha ha ha ha ha. ROTFLMMFAO. :)
(Girl, you know you can't get away with that! Frizzy cornrows are always unforgivable, movie star or not. We only let this slide on kids).
Photo Credit: Matthew Jordan Smith and Essence Magazine