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It’s always outrageous to hear stories about how our favorite beloved Black actors were and still are treated when it comes to film sets. Some have struggled with proper lighting for deeper hues, while some have been screwed over regarding hair and makeup. I’ve rounded up a list of my favorite actors that have outed Hollywood’s not-so-old tactics, showing them what’s good?
You may recognize Yvette Nicole Brown from Nickelodeon’s OG show, Drake & Josh, as Helen, or on Community as Shirley Bennett. The actor opened up in 2019 on Twitter about how most Black actors have to bring “wigs and clip-ins” and their own foundation shade.
Malcolm Barrett was another celebrity tweeting about #ActingWhileBlack. He gave light to the black hairstylist situation that had poised Hollywood, saying many Black actors would get their hair done before a film or TV show because the hairstylists that were one fit “all” never included Black people.
Gabrielle Union believes “texture discrimination” is real, along with model Olivia Anakwe. The actor reflected on her past red carpet days and times on movie sets when she wasn’t fond of her hair. However, many movie sets didn’t work into budgets that Black makeup and hairstylists were needed.
Marsai Martin was one of the celebrities to address hair discrimination with Teen Vogue. But being on a show like Black-ish, she had an opportunity to use her voice on the effects of colorism and lighting in TV and film.
Who would’ve known Beyoncé had to tell a production company to embrace her lovely curves. This week, news broke that the singer had the Austin Powers poster board redone because she appeared “too skinny.” An exact Hollywood tactic of preying on lighter-skinned Black women with European features. She said, “You made me too skinny. It’s not me.”
Princess Tiana, aka Anika Noni Rose, was a victim of skin lightening when Wreck-It-Ralph released a sequel starring a very light Tiana.
KJ Smith was told to “just come with your hair washed” when she had a commercial a couple of years ago before her regular series Tyler Perry’s Sistas.
Cicely Tyson opened up with the Hollywood Reporter in 2020 that when she started her career, her makeup would be “gray” because makeup artists didn’t know how to shade-match her skin.
Former The Real host Loni Love slammed makeup artists for making her look gray before, saying, “Honey, I have brought my whole glam kit, flat irons, pink lotion, Shea butter at times during a new set.”
Everyone knows why Monique Coleman wore headbands during the High School Musical series. It was because the TV crew styled her texturized hair on set “poorly.”
Lupita Nyong’o and the magazine Grazia UK had some tension after the magazine “edited out and smoothed” her hair to fit a more “Eurocentric” look for the 2017 cover.
Viola Davis’ decision not to wear a wig at the 2012 Oscars was buzzing in all social media outlets since this was the first time she sported her natural hair. She said, “Me not wearing a wig at the Oscars in 2012 was my protest.”
Keke Palmer was a part of the PSA by Glamour along with Uzo Aduba and Gabrielle Union about discrimination behind the scenes regarding hair, saying, “I’ve been told it blocks people’s view.”
The legendary and iconic Iman shared the real reason behind her cosmetics line that launched in 1994. When she started modeling and showed up for a photoshoot in 1975 for American Vogue, a makeup artist asked, “Did you bring your own foundation?”
Kerry Washington’s InStyle magazine cover was totally edited to make it look exactly not like Washington. The cover lightened her skin, and she was totally unrecognizable.