THR: Lupita Nyong’o might not be ‘light’ enough to have a Hollywood career


Lupita Nyong’o has gone silent. Is she home in Brooklyn? Is she in LA doing auditions? Is she in Canada with her boyfriend? Is she holed up in some fancy hotel with a new love? I have no idea. Star Magazine is trying to keep tabs on her though – they claim that Lupita is still with K’naan and that they are already sort-of engaged, much to the chagrin of her handlers, and that she’s thinking about eloping. A source claims: “She’s crazy for him. But she knows how much is at stake. Her Hollywood dream is in sight, and she’s on the cusp of a great career. Her heart says yes, but her brain knows it’s too soon.”

Is it too soon? I don’t know. Probably. I think her handlers are focused on her next step, which will be tricky. She’s the ingénue, of course, but it’s also going to be difficult to find a permanent place for her in Hollywood, or at least that’s what a new THR article claims. You can read the full THR piece here – some of the quotes from industry insiders are rather insulting, but I guess that’s the point: it’s going to be hard for an African actress to find consistent work. Some highlights:

Now that the ball is over and the applause is dying down, what can Lupita Nyong’o really expect from Hollywood? While the stage would appear to be set for her to ascend to the A-list… it’s not that simple.

Nyong’o may have charmed Hollywood as she skillfully navigated awards season, but whether or not she’s endeared herself to the larger public — with just $56 million in domestic box office, 12 Years was an art house hit but no blockbuster — remains an open question. “I don’t think she has an audience — not yet,” says one studio executive. “And there are so few roles for women of color; those roles are just not being written.”

Further complicating Nyong’o's prospects is the fact that her dark skin challenges an industry prejudice that traditionally has favored black actresses and performers with lighter complexions.

“Would Beyonce be who she is if she didn’t look like she does?” asks TCA Jed Root talent agent Tracy Christian. “Being lighter-skinned, more people can look at her image and see themselves in her. In Lupita’s case, I think she has two-and-half, three years. If she can find a franchise — a Star Wars or a Bourne Identity — a big crossover film, or if she’s cast by a significant filmmaker, then she’s golden, she’ll have carved out a unique path for herself.”

Yes, she faces obstacles, agrees a prominent casting agent, but they are not insurmountable. “For someone who looks like her, with a distinctly black, African face, maybe she’s someone who can change the direction for darker-skin actresses, actresses who are definitely not European-looking, but it may require some forward-looking director to push for her.”

“Frankly,” says Christian, “she’s hot enough that she can play a love interest to a Caucasian leading man, and it won’t be an issue. Lupita is to film and television what Obama was to politics. She made Hollywood feel good about itself. She was a little bit of ‘we shall overcome’ — charming, young, gorgeous.”

“Everyone would love to sign her,” says one top agent of the impression Nyong’o has made on Hollywood. “I’ve hardly been in a meeting with directors where her name hasn’t come up. Right now, she should be having meetings with Spielberg and Scorsese. What she should do is just work with great directors.”

Nyong’o did have a small role as a British-accented flight attendant in the Liam Neeson thriller Non-Stop, which was released the weekend before the Oscars, but she has not yet lined up her next film. Represented by Innovative Artists and D2 Management (her reps declined to discuss her next move), she was up for the part of Tiger Lily in Joe Wright’s upcoming reimagining of the Peter Pan story, but that role instead went to Rooney Mara. And she has met with J.J. Abrams, fueling speculation that she could be cast in his Star Wars movie. Says Allain, convinced that Nyong’o has a promising future ahead of her,

“She could play a neurosurgeon or somebody with Asperger’s. I would imagine the opportunities that will present themselves to her will be varied and won’t necessarily involve a superhero outfit, though she would also be awesome in that.”

[From THR]

See what I mean about insulting quotes? It’s like no one ever stops and says, “Hey, you know how we were looking at Scarlett Johansson/Jennifer Lawrence/Anne Hathaway for this part? Let’s audition Lupita!” The role doesn’t HAVE to be written for a black actress, that’s that point. That being said, I do think that some of the “recommendations” are probably solid – she should (and probably will) sign up for a franchise or some big CGI film, and she’ll try to work with the big directors too.

There’s also a discussion in that article about Halle Berry and how if Halle (being light-skinned) couldn’t find consistent work, then Lupita has no chance. Are we really still talking about light-skinned versus dark-skinned? RLY?


Photos courtesy of WENN, Lupita’s IG.

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244 Responses to “THR: Lupita Nyong’o might not be ‘light’ enough to have a Hollywood career”

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  1. Miss M says:

    A bit off topic: I wonder why BG decided to practically outed her yesterday. Such an odd blind item.

  2. Loopy says:

    But with the exception of a few, when most actresses win oscars ,they seem to have a hard time finding work.

  3. mercy says:

    WTH? Now it’s up to the powers that be in Hollywood to prove them dead wrong and give her the same opportunities to succeed that they would give to any Yale trained, Oscar winning, talented and beautiful young actor.

    Scarlett doesn’t belong in the same sentence as Jennifer Lawrence. Nice of you to include her, though. If Lupita can’t beat out the likes of Scarlett for roles, the situation is worse than I thought.

    • V4Real says:

      I’m not buying that there are no roles written for Black women. As long as there are roles being written for women period, it shouldn’t matter the race. I understand when they do period peices that the role calls for a certain race. But, if the role just calls for a woman, why can’t the female lead be Black, even if the male lead is White. There are plenty interracial relationships so would it be so far off to see more interracial couples on film.

      Are the studio execs that afraid that their projects won’t sell if Christian Bale, Matt Mcconaughey, Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and the rest of the popular actors had a partner that was Black in their films? Not just a Black woman but a darker skin Black woman.

      • Tooby says:

        The problem is not that it shouldn’t matter. It’s that it does. This is like claiming that all the roles are written for men, period, when we all know that most of those lead roles (the skew is worse in some genres-like action- than others)are going to the hotter males in the industry.

      • Anne says:

        Oh, I hate writing this . . . . but, yes, it must be the case that studio execs are THAT afraid that projects featuring dark skinned women won’t sell or won’t find an audience. It must also be the case that, in the fashion industry, editors feel clothes and products won’t sell if they are not associated with some rigid, narrow unattainable vision of “aspirational” beauty. I have no insider knowledge of these industries so you are free to dismiss my opinion if you like. I can’t say what the mindset of those decision makers tends to be – maybe it’s just outright sexism and racism that excludes certain people from opportunity or maybe the limitations that actors and actress encounter are, in part, a reflection of the cruel and critical way that women see themselves.

        On one of her appearances on Charlie Rose, Meryl Streep was asked about the lack of parts for women above a certain age in Hollywood and I always remember her response, (paraphrased): I think movies take place on the level of dreams. And men dream themselves to be successful and powerful – and they can inhabit that dream when they are young and they can continue to inhabit that dream as they grow older. Women tend to dream themselves to be young and desirable, and that dream is more restricted. It’s narrow, it’s often centered around an unattainable ideal, and it ends.

        Lupita is a beautiful, talented woman. Her grace is so apparent. I wish her well in her career and I hope she is able to carve the unique path for herself she seems poised for.

        I hope we as women can expand our own definitions of beauty. So we see, in ourselves, in our own imperfections and our own characters, traits which may diverge from the narrow definitions of beauty we grew up with, but which we can celebrate, in ourselves and in each other.

        *rant over, sorry*

      • mercy says:

        “I hope we as women can expand our own definitions of beauty. So we see, in ourselves, in our own imperfections and our own characters, traits which may diverge from the narrow definitions of beauty we grew up with, but which we can celebrate, in ourselves and in each other.”

        Bravo, Anne! If that was a ‘rant,’ feel free to rant more often. :)

      • Penny says:

        Anne your post almost brought me to tears. And no, it’s not a rant. You hit the nail on the head about the “restrictive” ideal of beauty in which the world and Hollywood operate. But strides are being made. Grace Jones is one example of a sexy dark skinned woman whose beauty was celebrated in the 80s/90s – think Conan & Boomerang – albeit, with the slight disclaimer of her being exoticized ( not sure if that’s a word). In the last decade it seems I’ve witnessed an explosion of portrayals of interracial relationships albeit the black actresses possess more Anglo-Saxon features – even in Black (~Tyler Perry) films. I hope I’m not mixing apples and oranges, but my point is that slowly by slowly it’s becoming more acceptable to put beautiful Black actresses in a role previously relegated to White women. I maybe careless in making that blanket observation – being that the only examples I can think of are Halle Berry, Michael Michelle, Vanessa Williams, Whitney Houston, Zoe Kravitz, Lisa Bonnet, Tamara Tooney, Zoe Zaldana, Thandie Newton & now Kerry Washington since all are light skinned with Anglican features. I have a great idea – why not find a role of a pop star to put Lupita in???? Roles where the character is a “Star” typically allows for some rule ruling and creative range…Nicole Beharie albeit being more on the brown than light skinned side plays a role which does not 100% call for a White or Black actress…

      • LadyS says:


        I don’t understand why Kerry is considered white-featured. She looks pretty black to me. What exactly are the physical details that make her more “white friendly?” From the list of actresses you made it sounds then like only mixed black women are considered, and barely.

      • Penny says:

        @ Ladys – somewhere along the thread Kerry Washington came up. In hindsight I can see I veered off the examples of light-skinned black women with European features and included lighter-skinned black women that may not possess European features – but still “safe” choices as many commentors discuss on this thread. I guess the elephant in the room no one has brought up is preference for the characteristically smaller, slimmer, less curvaceous venerated body frame among white and black actresses alike. Although the standard is changing – you’ll see in addition to skin tone and features is the matter of body type by which an actress is graded. Think why Marilyn Monroe as a sex symbol was controversial. So in answer to your analysis of Kerry Washington being included inspite of arguably not fitting the the ideal by way of features…I guess you have to look at the whole package to understand why she fits the Hollywood ideal.

      • LAK says:

        Penny, Kerry looks like women from Western Uganda. I am constantly amazed that she’s Black American because she doesn’t look it.

      • Penny says:

        @LAK – I’m curious. What about Kerry resembles a Ugandan versus a Black American? Do you mean her features? skin tone? her mannerism? Please clarify.

  4. Jessica says:

    The fact that she was up for Tiger Lily upsets me. The fact that Rooney Mara got the part also upsets me. They should have been looking at and hired Native American actresses.

    Re meeting with JJ, everyone and their mom has met with JJ.

    Oh, and Lupita’s accent in Non-Stop was terrible. In fact, her whole character was kind of pointless.

    • aang says:

      Me too. At least a few parts a year seem to be written for black woman. Maybe one a decade for a native woman. And to have a native character played by a white person drives me nuts. When I am Disney World I feel like ripping that ugly wig off Pocahontas, insulting. Instead I stand next to her for a picture, usually several shades darker, with my own long, straight black hair over my shoulder and tell my daughters this is what Pocahantas really would have looked like.

    • M.A.F. says:

      Agree with you on the Tiger Lilly role. Neither one of them should have been discussed. That role should have gone to a Native American period. There is no way they can positively spin their reason behind that casting.

      • Algernon says:

        There was a notion early on that the tribe would be made up of all different races, which is likely why Lupita was in the running for Tiger Lily. I do think it should be a NA role because they have even less opportunities than black actors, but I also saw the possibilities in casting an ethnically diverse group to play a band of guerrilla rebels fighting Blackbeard in Neverland, which is how it was initially presented. it wasn’t going to be a “tribe” but a group of rebels. It was originally pitched as a meta-commentary on the role of minorities in pop culture.

        I guess they’ve thrown that out the window, though.

    • DiamondGirl says:

      I think it doesn’t have to be so literal. Most of the main characters in Moonstruck are Italian as part of their characters but not all the actors are, namely Cher who won an Oscar.

      James Caan is Jewish but played Sonny Corleone.

      Morgan Freeman played a major role in Gone Baby Gone who was white and Irish in the book.

  5. EBonyS says:

    Yes. We are. Because as a dark-skinned black woman, it is STILL an issue.

    I cannot TELL you how many times I’ve heard, “You know, I’m usually not attracted to black women, but you are really pretty!” from non-black guys.

    And my personal favourite, “You are really pretty for a dark-skinned girl.” from black MEN.

    It’s insulting on so many levels. Thankfully, it doesn’t hurt me anymore. Now I just get angry as opposed to my self-confidence being shattered.

    Hollywood favours black women with European features. I forgot with fashion editor said it, but black girls in the industry have to look “like white girls who have been dipped in chocolate.”

    It’s all shades of sad. Lupita was the darling of the season. But much like Freida Pinto and Gabourey Sidibe, there is a likely chance she will be an after-thought, despite everyone liking them during award season. Lupita’s beautiful dark skin is mot something you can easily forget or look past. And why would you want to? It makes me sad.

    Telling to this now, if she was light-skinned like Rihanna, or hell, Naomi Harris, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I’m hoping Lupita’a talent will be able to change the way Hollywood thinks and hope for success in her future.

    • MonicaQ says:

      I totally just posting the same below, damn girl. /solidarity.

    • mercy says:

      It’s so sad. Skin colour has nothing to do with beauty. Hollywood and the fashion industry need to do a hell of a lot more to help break down these boundaries.

      I love them both, but Lupita is a better actress than Frieda and probably seen as more versatile in Hollywood than Gabourey (who has to face not only the race issue, but size as well.) There is no reason Lupita shouldn’t be considered for top roles.

      • deanna says:

        You are all correct. The industry excludes darker skinned women. IMO though, it is fear-based. Unfortunately, it is perpetuated in the the black community as well. If you go on historical tours in New Orleans you learn of the the Creole community which looked down upon darker skin blacks. On a side note, the fuller figured actress Gabourey Sibide is KILLING it! She was great on the C Showtime series and truly honed her chops. Now she’s on a regular series that I’m not crazy for but I admire her acting and am so happy she is working steadily. Perhaps Lupita will have a positive experience as well? Cable is so awesome and I’d love to see her be say… a detective of some sort.

    • starrywonder says:

      I am light skinned and I never understood why men say crap like that to a woman! I had tons of men saying redbone to me and everything in between it’s gross. Like me for me, my skin color should have no bearing on it. Ugh. Ugh.

    • AG-UK says:

      I agree, it is still an issue. My friend and I have had this conversation both of us AA and living in London. Her thoughts were after it all died down she will fade into the sunset, as HW cannot SEE beyond a few people. It’s as if and I am sure they do have a list and catagories a/b/c.. and if you don’t fit into that they can’t move beyond anything else. My friend in NY who is white says oh it’s a different time it’s not like that anymore. Well hello hate to tell you it’s LIKE that. I hope it all works for her as she is a good actress from the one role I saw but it will be a hard climb and if it starts to be summer/fall and nothing then she might have a problem. Also they need to sell her image all over the US to be profitable and as we know it’s not all full of open minded people.

    • V4Real says:

      @Ebony “And my personal favourite, “You are really pretty for a dark-skinned girl.” from black MEN.”

      You are absolutely right, Black men do say that. I have called one of my close guy friends out on taking it further than that. He said he will not date a dark skin girl because he himslf is dark (Lupita’s tone or darker). He was one of the ones who didn’t find Lupita attractive. So we have problems in our own race, not just with the other races.

      • Yep. That’s the reason why my mom started dating white men. Because when she was in the Navy, in the eighties and nineties–black men, who worked with her, made it clear that she was pretty much a last resort. She said that they could hang out and be boyfriend and girlfriend Monday through Friday, but come Friday and Saturday night–they were nowhere to be found. She said that she felt ugly and knew that she was the lowest on the totem pole. So she said that she started to date anyone who was interested in her–white dudes–even though she is (still) primarily attracted to black men.

        My mom’s friend, who is in her late thirties, and his in the Navy now (home base is in California) said that the men that she works with told her that black women were for practice (keep in mind she’s a black woman, and she works with all races of people), and that they’re not someone you bring home or marry……

    • Omega says:

      @EBonyS; I hear you.

      I just want to point out that Whoopi Goldberg had a pretty solid leading lady career post the Color Purple in the 80s and 90s. She even had her own franchise (remember Jumping Jack Flash)? I grew up on Whoopis films and I didnt even know how groundbreaking she was. I even remember she was the love interest of some white guy in a film – Corrina Corrina (she plays a maid though which isnt great) and no it wasnt a comedy and yes that film did make money. It grossed 20M.

      My point is that theres hope here still. Lupita just has to leverage her likability into an actual audience following, and these same Execs will be climbing over themselves to cast her. I think she needs to get on a franchise or even a really good TV show ASAP, before people forget who she is.

  6. vangroovey says:

    “Are we really still talking about light-skinned versus dark-skinned? RLY?” Yep, we are — because it’s still an issue. This article proves it. The media we “consume” shapes our society in very uncomfortable ways — so until a Hollywood mucky-muck can say, “Why DON’T we have Lupita audition for that,” (just using it as an example of a larger shift that would have to happen), then the issue of how our culture venerates “light” and condemns “dark” is a valid one that we gotta keep talking about — to effect positive change.

    • V4Real says:

      It’s definetely still an issue. This reminds me of what my lawyer said to me some time ago when I was involved in a lawsuit. He said something along the line that don’t worry the case will go well, you’re an attractive lighter woman with a good job and education. It kind of just went over my head at that moment becasue I was so nervous about giving my deposition.

      My lawyer was White by the way.

      • Erin says:

        I remember, several years ago, when a black lady was discussing the light/dark skin issue. She said it isn’t just black men, she said in school the lighter skinned girls would shun the darker skinned classmates. School is hard enough, but it seems that no matter what, they seem to find a way to separate into social clique’s.

      • I think that black (women) people can’t catch a break either way–light or dark. My mom is dark skinned, and so are all of my aunts and uncles. One of my aunts has a godparent that picked her as a godchild, simply because she was the lightest one out of all six of them–she was more like a chocolate brown, but not lighter by much.

        My older sister–who is half black, half Italian–is a olive skinned girl with wavy black hair and greenish eyes—she went to an all black college in Georgia, and all of the girls there gave her the blues, because of her skin color–she hadn’t even done anything yet, and they were already talking about her.

    • Tooby says:

      Yeah, I’m a bit surprised by this incredulity.

      I think that there’s a certain desire for simplicity in this. You put in (or talk about putting in) black actresses and then everyone is satisfied regardless of their skin tone. But that’s not what happens is it? We mention the skin tone thing then the progressive person gets annoyed and would prefer that there was only one equal group of people so this didn’t happen. We would too. But there isn’t

      And I’m glad that people are saying it. If it offends someone then…good. But be offended by the reality, not by the fact that someone chose to speak about it.

      • vangroovey says:

        Wait….can you explain your point further? I’m not sure I get what your saying. Thanks!

      • Mel says:

        @VanGroovey: Obviously I am not Tooby, but as I understand it, s/he is saying that wishful thinking and political correctness do not equal reality.

        And the reality, from the point of view of film producers, could be just that a predominantly fair-skinned audience (if it is predominant – I don’t know that) might find it more difficult to identify with a character who is physically “too” (note the quote marks) different from them.

        That doesn’t make people ignorant or racist. It’s a simple fact that we as humans notice physical appearance first – and skin colour is a major factor, obviously. So are other ethnically specific traits, such as slanted eyes in Asians, for example.

        To put it into perspective, I am sure black African audiences – or Asian audiences – would find it much more difficult to identify with a character who looked Caucasian – or even really look past the character’s skin colour.
        It’s just the way things are.
        Not everything has to be sinister.

      • vangroovey says:

        thanks Mel for the feedback. I’m too tired to get into anything now, but, just an FYI, I am a black woman and I have no difficulty relating to white or asian characters or actors. I’ll go off if I keep typing, but yeah…no.

  7. MonicaQ says:

    It’s not a new phenomenon. This didn’t “just” appear. The paper bag test. High yellow. Red bone. Tar baby. Midnight. The black community (which includes myself before someone tells me to check my privilege or some other crap) has always had this issue. Beyonce gets photoshopped ever lighter. Anybody seen J. Hud outside of Weight Watchers? And now she isn’t even doing that anymore. Gabourey Sidibe is where?

    You have to look like a “safe” black person. Dark but not too dark. Let’s put all this weave in our hair so it looks “whiter” (some of it by choice, I understand that, not knocking the yaki. Knocking the expectations of it). “You’re so well spoken.” “Are you sure you need sunscreen?” “Your grandmother is so light, how did you end up so dark?” “You have such a pretty face for a dark girl!” People touching my hair without asking (I seriously had to check my HR manager on that mess. My HR MANAGER).

    It’s still the nature of Hollywood but it’s also our reality.

    • Marianne says:

      Gabourey Sidibe did just come off from doing American Horror Story :Coven. But yes, she did disappear for awhile. Her weight could have been an issue too. Hollywood doesn’t take too kindly to fat girls unless they’re comediennes.

    • Naye in VA says:

      Jennifer Hudson just released Black Nativity, but I wont give that much weight. Gabourey Sibide was on pretty much every episode of American Horror Story: Coven. They didnt just fall off the map, but the aren’t as high profile as their white counterparts.

      • Peppa says:

        You know what kind of sucks? Even though Gaby and Angela Bassett were in almost every episode of Coven, they were listed in the credits as guest stars.

      • lucy2 says:

        Peppa, I think that’s common for that show though, they have a core cast of returning actors, and then each season guest stars come in. This was both their first season, so I’m not surprised.
        I ended up hating AHS yet again, but Angela Bassett was awesome, and I was really happy to see Gabby again. So many people said she’d NEVER get another role again, and she’s worked steadily ever since.

    • PrettyTarheelFan says:

      WTF? Your HR manager touched your hair without permission? I’m angry on your behalf right now. Not because of the color of your skin, but as a person. We’re all just f—ing people, and the color of our skin or the texture of our hair should not matter. We all should have the same rights, and the same bodily autonomy, and the right to establish our own boundaries.

      This is completely off topic, I’m just so appalled that an HR manager didn’t know better. Seriously. WTF?

      • Tatjana says:

        May I ask, what is the big deal with the hair touching? I mean, I understant that it isn’t pleasant, but why is it so insulting?

      • Marianne says:

        I know this is sort of different from the hair issue…..but I once had a colleague pull down the back of my shirt to take a better look at my tattoo. Like WTF lady, I didn’t give you permission to do that.

      • Janet says:

        @Tatjana. Let me try to explain it like this: touching someone’s hair to see how it feels without their permission is a plain and simple lack of respect. How would you like it if black people were always trying to touch your hair to see what it feels like? Yet black people are subjected to this from white people all the time and we’re supposed to grin and bear it. My son went to a small college in New England which was very selective, very rural and very white. He called home his first week and said if one more white kid touched his hair to see what it felt like, somebody was going to get punched out. Show some respect and keep your hands to yourself.

      • Tatjana says:

        As I said below, I only met one black person in my entire life, so I’m not familiar with any of this. Thank you so much for the explanation.

      • Omega says:

        Tatjana, asking to touch my hair marks me as the “Other”. The Outsider. The Novelty. The Different. The Freak. Nobody wants to feel these things.

        Touching it without my permission, makes me feel all those things plus it invades my personal autonomy. My body belongs to me and not the community after all. In case you arent aware there has been a tendency for white folk to co-opt black womens bodies over the centuries and this just smacks of that.

      • aang says:

        Tatjana – when I took my blond one year old to a rural part of Mexico people touched her hair constantly. It didn’t bother me because we were the outsiders and I understood their curiosity. Especially because I am dark skinned with dark hair and so is her sister so she really stood out. But if it happened at home all the time I think I can see how it would be insutling. As if you are weird and different in your own home.

      • PrettyTarheelFan says:

        To add to what everyone else said, a Human Resources Manager, of all people in the world, should respect boundaries and be aware of the kind of social and cultural implications addressed here. HR Managers are supposed to hold the line for everyone else, and provide guidance in navigating these situations. After all, even though we are employees/employers, we are still people, too, and we bring our prejudices, our beliefs, and our social experiences to work every day. So for an HR manager, who should be able to provide guidance on how to handle a situation like this to both the people involved, to not have any sense of the issue with her touching someone else is just a big fat pot of WTF?

      • Janet says:

        @Tatjana: It’s not a black/white thing; it’s all about respecting other people’s personal boundaries. It applies to everybody. But in this country’s history, where black people are concerned, too many whites have acted as if there are no boundaries and they can treat black people any way they want to.

        @aang: “if it happened at home all the time I think I can see how it would be insutling. As if you are weird and different in your own home.”

      • deanna says:

        I felt the same way! That is lawsuit material. What a ding-dong of an HR manager. Talk about limited, sheltered, and unaware. Poor etiquette to boot.

    • dagdag says:


      I have a friend from Florida, very very black. He was raised by his dark grandparents. Grandpa never liked him, because too dark. A sister was born, mixed (black/white), he did not want her in his house, too light. Third sister was born, dark, and that was ok for grandpa.

      • dagdag says:


        because one is not an object to be fingered.

      • Tatjana says:

        The hair touching makes someone an object? I don’t really get that, but nevermind.

      • QQ says:

        Tatjana: several reasons

        Black hair Is frail and drier that most as such women are very particular when they are naturals about putting oils, arranging it just so etc

        Curly hair frizzes when is fiddled with too much

        Hands are germy things when you have hair you are not going to wash or cowash all but once a week this matters.

        Cause sometimes is not your natural hair but a good fake

        Cause usually the curiosity comes with a shiton of rather intrusive/ignorant questions

        Cause it brings up the tropes of “exotic animals or playthings you can be curious about poke and prode

        Cause some people dont ask and is rather rude to get on someone’s face like that and yank on hair

        those are just a few reasons

      • Tatjana says:

        Thank you QQ. I only met one black person in person in my entire life, so I’m not familiar with any of this. It seems so strange that something like tha still happens in the 21st century.

    • MonicaQ says:

      I do have to say I’m so proud of my fellow black women here answering a serious question honestly and not going overly buck ham like tumblr. Restoring my faith.

      • Side-Eye says:

        I liked seeing that too. If someone is genuinely curious, it’s best to initially take the time to intelligently inform them, rather than flat-out attacking, which tumblerinas don’t seem to get.

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:


        And hats off as well to Tatjana for her interest and respectful line of questioning. I have dealt with a lot of people who are dismissive or downright accusatory ( ‘we’re post-racial’, ‘race card’, ‘you’re perpetrating racism’, ‘get over it’ , ‘reverse racism’, ‘affirmative action’ etc.) about what women of colour say about the challenges that they face, especially if they’re black. It’s refreshing when people just want to talk and understand each other and for me to not to be told that in addressing difficulties, we’re trying to drag the white man down and make then martyrs. I don’t want any of that. My sister’s husband is white ans in the sixteen years they’ve been together, it wasn’t even considered my family to care about that. We’re not trying to destroy or scapegoat, we don’t hate anyone but we don’t want to be scolded for telling it as it is. Anyway, thanks, Tatiana, they aren’t always as pleasant as you have been.

  8. Migdalia says:

    I recently had the exact same thoughts, because her career has been radio silence since 12 years. And yes unfortunately it’s still light skinned vs dark skinned which is why a lot of celebrities with darker skin colors sadly turn to bleaching their skin.

    • Tatjana says:

      She is extremely beautiful so I think she might have a chance.
      Race of course is a huge issue, but looks are too. Average looking men are all over Hollywood. Average looking women? I can’t even name a few who are extremely successful.

      • Sophie says:

        She is beautiful, but she looks less caucasian than Halle Berry, for example, even discounting the skin tone. I think a lot of people in the film industry stay with the “tried and true” and want actresses that all look alike in some ways. They might think she is too different to be successful, even though “different” actresses often end up marking the mind more strongly.

      • Tatjana says:

        But she is still beautiful. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think she has a better chance than an equally talented white actress who is fat or ugly ( beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there are some features people generally describe as beautiful).
        Apart from Kathy Bates and Octavia Spencer, I can’t think of an overweight actress hitting it big ( not counting comedy actresses).

      • Xas says:

        I understand that Tatjana, but you’re overstimate a little bit the beauty element. Yes, Lupita is gorgeous, but also thousand of other women in Hollywood and also many of other previous black and talented actress -Kimberly Elise, Meagan Goode-. She has a shot for her beauty but even that factor won’t be relevant in 3-5 years, because Hollywood is full of beautiful women and the male executives will love the new and exotic girl. If Nyong’o can’t capitalize her goodwill and Oscar soon, she will be forgotten easily.

        Actually in cases of black actresses, Spencer and Sidibe are more succesful that many people give credit for. These are character actresses, and take supporting roles in films and TV series. Being “average” or “ugly” -At Hollywood standards- at the end could be a better card, because they won’t have the preasure and criticism. Also, the character roles for these women will exist even in big productions.

      • deanna says:

        You’re right, the men cast are mostly mediocre in my opinion. Plus, they are so short! Many are only 5’6″ to 5’8″- too tiny.

    • taxi says:

      Halle’s father is black (or mixed.) Her mother is white. I believe facial bone structure is a more significant factor than skin color depth in determining “attractiveness,” except to those blacks who envy others with lighter skin.
      Lupita has a pretty face. Is she prettier than Kerry Washington? Naomie Harris? Iman? Alek Wek? Not in my opinion. Is she “prettier” than Gaboure Sidibe or Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce or Solange? Absolutely yes.
      Does Lupita have a great figure? No. Her lower body & thick legs are not in proportion to her upper body, with the very bony sternum & scarred or warty ribcage.

  9. Tatjana says:

    I never heard of the lighter/darker skin issues before coming to this site and I’m truly appaled.

  10. magpie says:

    This is insulting. America fell in love with her so she can play any role out there. It doesn’t have to be written “black”. WTF? I thought we were getting past that.

  11. Lily says:

    Ummm i think the reason Halle couldn’t find consistent work is because she is not a great actress. All she has to do is find a loyal fan base who will pay to see her and get directors to want to work with her based on her work ethic and personality. They tend to have input on the final casting decisions. And she should show up for any audition even if her “look” isn’t requested.

    • starrywonder says:

      Um yep. Seriously Angela Bassett in my opinion is a stronger actress than Halle Berry. So is Viola Davis, so are a lot of black actresses out there. Halle Berry is just not very good. I have not really ever loved her in anything she has been in.

    • T.C. says:

      Angela Bassett can act circles around Halle Berry but Halle got the Oscar and the Hollywood status because she is a pretty light-skinned woman that Hollywood feel comfortable with. Angela’s brown skin is considered too ethnic and not good for a White male to romance on the big screen.

    • Artemis says:

      Riiiiight, because Hollywood is littered with only ‘great’ actresses? Jessica Alba/Biel had/has a career in film! Lindsay Lohan still has enough people rooting for her and defending her basic Disney acting skills yet Berry who has great films under her belt (e.g. Bulworth, Monster’s Ball, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge) and used X-men and Bond as a stepping stone for a more commercial career, STILL has people consistently coming for her talent?

      The reason why she doesn’t get offered decent jobs is because roles are for white people which she herself has discussed when promoting Things We Lost in the Fire:

      Berry said, race is “always an issue — slowly it’s changing.”

      “Not having a chance is what I can’t live with at this point in my career. I think I have earned that,” she said. (Vancouver Sun, 2007)

      She does go to any audition but it was clear that her skin colour often proves to be an issue. I can imagine that LN, so early in her career, will have it even more difficult. Maybe in 15 years, when LN gets shitty roles or no roles at all, we will question her ‘talent’ and audition decisions too so we can be blind to Hollywood’s agenda.

      And lets not forget the controversy concerning Zoe Saldana and Halle Berry for donning blackface and playing a white woman respectively. But Jolie (Pearl), RDJ (Tropic Thunder), Mara (Tiger Lily) – recent examples – can play black and Native American characters and people are able to stay neutral or forget about it because they’re beautiful (actual excuse!) or ‘we live in a post-racial world’ etc. Ugh.

      • T.C. says:

        It’s true there are actresses like Jessica Alba and Biel who are not very good but still get role. Notice they get eye candy roles mostly and nothing serious and they don’t lead films that open based on their names. Lindsay Lohan gets roles based on her good acting as a child and because some dumb people believe her notariaty will bring free press to their hot mess of a film. What self respecting actress wants Lohan’s films.

        Halle is an OK actress, a little better than Biel but not much. Although she still looks hot she can’t no longer just play the eye candy roles and she is not strong enough to be cast in films requiring Violet Davis type of skills. So that’s why she is in a situation that older White actress who are most famous for their looks in their younger years are stuck at.

      • andypandy says:

        Yes you are right there are a lot of B talent white actresses out there making a living but with roles so limited for black actresses it pains me to see (I cant hardly act my way out of a paper bag) Halle Berry get those roles over more deserving actresses.
        Her acting including that ridiculous accent was as cringe worthy in Monsters ball as in most of her performances (shes OK playing herself i,e Dorothy Dandridge, Boomerang thats it !)
        BTW. Halles Oscar was pure tokenism /politics the Academy was honoring Sidney Poitier that yr and it looked bad that no Black person had won leading man/ woman since he did 40 YEARS ago all the outrage/ cries of racism in the previous years when movies like Color Purple got several nominations and not one win and others Malcolm X etc were shut out completely

      • Side-Eye says:

        I want to point out that the RDJ example isn’t in the same league as the other too because they were actually mocking blackface and the people who condone it. Most of the characters call him out for in the film, so it’s absolutely NOT THE SAME as the other two.

      • Bridget says:

        while I still give Jolie major side eye for A Mighty Heart, the one minor saving grace was that she was actually Pearl’s choice to play her, and they remain close friends. The weird part to me is that role was pretty much always intended to go to a white woman – Plan B initially aquired it when Pitt and Aniston were still married, and I think Aniston had hopes herself of playing the role early on.

      • Artemis says:


        Uhm, Honey though. And this was after Alba starred in ‘Dark Angel’ (created by friggin James Cameron!) so she made an excellent leap from TV to film without being stereotyped. Then she got her start pretty fast in a franchise (Fantastic Four) as one of the greatest female comic characters ever! Thanks to Sin City I suppose. All characters who weren’t eye candy. Yes, she was hot, but the characters weren’t one dimensional. She was given the opportunity to show her range because her early film career roles are very diverse (action, thriller, comedy, horror) and in quick succession. Post-2008 is were things started to go sour.

        Biel also had a good run on a TV show and while she doesn’t have Oscar worthy roles (and thus Movie Star status), she does work consistently in blockbusters and indies and she still has a good 10 years until her niche (action) can’t be used anymore. Because she’s not a Movie Star, nobody is checking for her either when the film fails so she’s good.

        Both these ladies have had decent box office runs with limited acting skills. If Berry is better than them (she is) and equally hot, than clearly it’s something else that’s holding her back because acting skills aren’t that important in Hollywood.

        @andy pandy:

        So many actors have played (shades of) themselves at various stages of their career: J Nicholson, B Davis, K and A Hepburn, Jolie, Stiller, Sandler, Aniston, N Cage and they still got prestigious roles after and are rarely questioned or attacked based on their talent to the point that they don’t have a career anymore.

        LN’s oscar was even more political than Berry’s. I think we should be happy that Hollywood feels the pressure and rewards POC.


        Feeble excuse. Blackface is still blackface and shouldn’t be use by white people to make a point. More often than not, they fail miserably as most people still don’t care or don’t understand the mockery of it because they don’t understand the history. Like bye, it’s never their place.


        POC themselves have a tendency to put themselves down (see Gabby Douglas’ hair debate on black Twitter, smdh). I remember Thandie Newton speaking out and people taking the side of the black person who condoned the blackface of course (Pearl) and lashing out to Thandie. It makes people uncomfortable to say the least.

        Yep, AMH was Oscar-bait and other than Pitt’s own (ex)partners, there were never any other casting rumours or whispers that I know of. The statement of Pearl reeks of self-hate and color blindness tbh.

      • taxi says:

        Halle’s erratic temperament issues may overshadow whatever acting talent she actually has, which isn’t a lot. She does look great in a catsuit & has a gorgeous figure.
        Viola, Angela, and Olivia are actually talented actresses, though Olivia’s non-traditional body size may keep her in character or supporting roles rather than leading lady.

  12. HH says:

    “she’s hot enough that she can play a love interest to a Caucasian leading man, and it won’t be an issue.”

    Man, something about this sentence struck me the WRONG way. I think it’s that she has to be held to a higher standard of hotness to play a love interest to a white guy…(?!?!) She’s good looking enough to dabble in the white choclate?!?! I just… I mean…

    • Artemis says:

      My exact thoughts and feelings! Like a black woman has to be exceptionally hot to be able to even be considered a love interest or black women are usually not attractive ( = good enough) to white men or something.

      • Alexandria The Great says:

        Bingo. A good example of this is “Rachel Zane” from “Suits”, played by biracial actress Meghan Markle. She’s obviously “mixed” but passably white, so she’s a safe-bet for a white man who wants to dip his toes into the “chocolate pond” without getting too wet.

    • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

      Hm. ‘…and if you work hard enough and pray hard enough, you might someday be worthy of a white man. Aren’t you grateful for how progressive we are to think about considering to ponder to wonder to imagine that we might possibly drag you up that status? Now THAT would finally justify your existence–you’ll be almost as good as a white girl. Hold your breath girls, and dream.’

      The guy is effectively saying that she won’t have to feel deficient anymore once the people who actually matter decide to look at her with some degree of non-repulsion and that we should consider that to be a gift or a show of how enlightened they are — by declaring that someday she’ll have enough worth to be embraced by ‘Real Hollywood’, almost as if she were a woman or that she has some power that supersedes the perfectly natural ‘ick factor’ that is seen into the very notion of black women.

      Whatever, man.

    • I Choose Me says:

      That comment stood out to me too. I was just ugh, then I had to go and look at a picture of a cute puppy to help alleviate my irritation. I mean f-ck that noise!

    • Penny says:

      Annnnddddd we’re back to the dialogue of ” exceptionalism: my word used to define exceptions to the rule. Reminiscent of the logic behind comments or micro aggressions like “I don’t find black girls attractive, but you’re hot”, a line I’ve heard a million times and a million times was offended. The back handed compliment is an insult sugar coated. I interpret it as a statement of general perception that black is not supposed to be beautiful. Larwd. And from the mouths of men of color, “Being dark didn’t affect you at all” or “How can someone so black be so beautiful?” or ” You sure is pretty, and you lucky too, cause you sure is dark”. As if beauty in dark or black skin is an anomalous occurrence in nature. There are more examples where people get specific about being attractive for not having a “pug” or “wide” nose. Really not sure about my lips because characteristically they are not White, since they are full rather than thin. Which is all kinds of wrong because with all the mixing of both the black and white gene pools both groups vary in lip thickness, etc. Right now full lips are trendy and sensual – it’s why there is the practice (in Hollyweird) of lip injections. Guess all we have to do is wait until it’s trendy to be dark and people go to shops or spas where they can systemically brown skin to a shade deemed attractive. Can’t wait til someone invents those hypothetical skin darkening beds with the assistance of sprays.

    • Penny says:

      I thought you all could enjoy this scene from Jungle Fever where Gator – a character played by Samuel Jackson – comments on standards in interracial pairings. Not saying I agree, 100% but it sure is funny. And at least the discussion of quality of black woman on a white man’s arm is mocked, lol

  13. freebunny says:

    She’s talented.
    I hope she will be more than a one/off Oscars winner but the fact that she still hasn’t sign any new movie isn’t a good sign at all and it’s not her good friend Leto who will help her.

  14. OhDear says:

    Re: “no roles for her as a black woman:” Among other things, they can change the role from what they considered to be a white woman for her. I mean, if Rooney Mara can be cast as Tiger Lily (among the Hayzeus knows how many other roles that were meant to be for a non-white person), why is it so impossible for those people to do it the other way around?

  15. smee says:

    Hollywood needs to go for a drive around the old U.S.of A. and see that not everyone is “light skinned” or white like them. Her skin tone is so striking – like Liz Taylor’s purple eyes or Sofia V’s figure – it’s an asset not a deficit.

    She radiates fun – I could totally see her nailing it at the box office in a well-written rom-com

  16. ~Z~ says:

    I truly hope this does not offend anyone. I am white.
    I think really dark skin is gorgeous, the darker the more beautiful.
    I think she’s beautiful.

  17. Seán says:

    It might be insulting but THR are looking at things from a practical point of view. It’s difficult for black entertainers to have successful careers in the entertainment industry and the ones that do tend to have lighter skin or more “European” features. Lupita is very dark and Hollywood execs are notoriously old-fashioned and stuck in their ways. They’re still thinking of the white, heterosexual, middle class male when it comes to movie-making. I think that’s slowly changing with the Internet but it’s still going to take time.

    Hopefully some big director takes Lupita on board a successful film franchise. She charmed people during the Oscars and I’m sure she can charm them again!

    • I’m pinning my hopes on “Star Wars.” In that universe, there is no need to cast lighter-skinned, European-featured actresses. Come on, JJ, make it so!

      • Seán says:

        @The Blower’s Daughter;

        I hope she gets the Star Wars gig too. However, I think there needs to be more emphasis placed on colour blind casting in general. Let’s stop with the always having a white lead and have a black/Asian/Hispanic/Native/mixed lead without their ethnicity being a factor at all. Same goes for LGBT person. Throw in a gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans action hero without their sexuality/gender identity being a thing. Or someone with a disability. They just happen to be face the same problems/crisis than any white, able-bodied straight character would.

        Wishful thinking on my part but it would be great if these things would not be an issue and Hollywood has a huge level of influence in this area.

  18. Hissyfit says:

    Eh. I was kind of expecting this. She’s an amazing actress and her career deserves to take off but I’m afraid she won’t get that much movie roles as Lawrence, Hathaway, Johansson would get. That’s why I wanted her so bad to win the Oscars, not only because she deserves it better than Lawrence but I kind of get the feeling that it will probably take years for her to be nominated again unlike Lawrence who will probably get nominated for every movie role she will play even if it’s not that good.

  19. Ashley says:

    Honestly when did America fall in love with Lupita,most people I talk to don’t even know who she is. And it kills me that people compare her to JLaw mainly because what JLaw did was so rare. I think I said it before but sadly Hollywood is institutionslized racism and as amazing as it would be for things to change it won’t at least not anytime soon.

    • Melangie says:

      Lupita hit my radar during award season. Her fashion killed at every single appearance. Honestly, I might have skipped 12 Years entirely had my interest not been piqued due to her amazing wardrobe. Soooo shallow, but true! Ps, she was outstanding in the movie.

    • Violet says:

      I think the interest for Nyongo is foremost on the Internet, not among regular public or moviegoers for that matter.

    • holly says:

      I couldn’t agree more with your statement. How popular is Lupita?

      • amy says:

        she is as popular as jlaw. Lupita is more beloved

      • Sandra says:

        @amy: I have to say I think that you loving her more than JLaw does not make her a more popular star.

        Perhaps she is more popular amongst gossip blog readers, for sure, but amongst the general movie-going public? No way. That’s not me pitting the two against each other, I love them both and I know that they can exist happily in Hollywood alongside one another, that is just the truth.

      • Xas says:

        amy, like Cumberbatch will be the king of the box office in 2013 :P (Sorry, I need to say that).

        Internet is a good source, but it’s becoming clear that Internet popularity tends to be far-fetched for the general opinion (Megan Fox is one of the Facebook biggest stars and her films were flops). Nothing against Nyong’o, but Sandra is right, the average joe/jane is different to the blog reader or Internet people. So that value of “Lupita is more beloved that JLaw in America” needs more evidences to make verifable.

    • deanna says:

      Ashley, I agree with you! Also, it’s so misogynistic. Why as women do we always have to see some old fart cast as the love interest of some lovely younger woman? Like twenty plus years age gap between the male/female lead. These are the fantasies of a select few men being perpetuated on screen. Women need to write and produce more to annihilate these doofy stereotypical films.

    • Penny says:

      I have to admit Ashley you do raise a valid inquiry, “When did America fall in love with Lupita”…if you discount how every other mainstream star gains a fan base even before a movie or video is released. It’s hype. Good old fashioned hype. A PR campaign ensues based on the assumed trajectory of a career based on a highly anticipated performance with big names attached. I think it all started with the affiliation of Brad Pitt – an American Sweetheart – and then all the media coverage of her style. I don’t remember it happening differently for any other “it” girl or person. Then of course her “unconventional” beauty. Isn’t it usually the case that the actor has spent some time in small roles or indie films or Broadway until a breakout role comes along…then we see their faces plastered everywhere? I never saw Lupita in anything but 12YRs – actually heard of her on Facebook and Celebitchy, and other online sources before watching 12YRs. And I got curious especially being a dark skinned woman myself. So I started “following” her. Outside of her beauty being a thing since we don’t see many dark-skinned women in HW, it’s just a simple matter that she is just beautiful. Many people are conditioned to associate positive qualities with beauty. I rest my case.

  20. TheOneandOnlyOnly says:

    Doesn’t this also show that Hollywood’s vaunted “liberalism” as the right endlessly whines about, is just for show – it’s about dollars and cents, to paraphrase George Orwell’s description of many leftists of his time, they play at something they don’t really believe in. Hollywood’s “liberal” on things that are cost-free. After all, how many stars are going to comment on this issue? They know where their paychecks come from.

  21. Vardi says:

    That’s exactly what Alfre Woodard said during the award season : if Lupita hasn’t the same career chances as J.Law,then it means that Hollywood hasn’t made any step forward.
    It’s going to be so hard for her because the issue of representation is still a mess in Hollywood! I just hate the fact that apparently people can’t see themselves in her because she’d dark-skinned? But thank god hot enough to have a Caucasian lead? WTF???

    • T.C. says:

      I agree Lupita should be doing better but using Jennifer Lawrence as a measuring stick is setting her and any other actress up for failure. Jennifer Lawrence’s career is an anomaly. I think many people don’t seem to understand this. No other young White actress EVER in the history of Hollywood has had that type of critical and boxoffice sucess so early. Shailene Woodley’s trying her hardest with Divergent and that didn’t even make 30% of what the Hunger Games made. She’s hoping The Fault in Our Stars will be her Winter’s Bone.

      • GeeMoney says:

        Julia Roberts had that hype and success very early. She was nominated for an Oscar for Pretty Woman and Steel Magnolias and started starring as the lead actress in films by age 23.

        So no, Jennifer Lawrence isn’t the first woman to do this, but she is an anomaly in a sense because it was years and years later before someone was able to duplicate the success that Julia had.

      • T.C. says:


        Jennifer Lawrence is the head of a movie franchise that has made at least $400 Million domestic from the beginning. The only original franchise to do this (check Forbes and EW), she also was nominated for two lead role Oscars back to back winning one followed by a third nomination. Oh and she is only a part of a second movie franchise The X-Men. Julia Roberts never had that comparison accumulation of success at such an age. That’s why Jennifer is anomaly. It just isn’t seen in Hollywood when it comes to actresses. It is expected with male actors.

      • GeeMoney says:

        Jennifer’s lead actress Oscar nods were two years apart. Julia, actually had her two nods back to back.

        Regardless, Julia still had the critical success and movie success that Jennifer did at the same age, regardless of box office totals. Not sure how old you are or if you remember how huge Julia was at the time, but she pretty much had the same level of success in the early 90′s that J-Law does right now. Julia was America’s sweetheart, and in turn ruled the box office on her name ALONE (not with a movie franchise behind her) for at least 10-15 years.

        So no, like I said before, Jennifer is no anomaly. Julia did it damn near 20 years before. And perhaps when Jennifer opens a film on her name alone, then your argument would hold more weight. But until then, it’s already been done.

      • T.C. says:


        Thanks for the correction. I agree that Julia Roberts had a lot of movie success just based on her own name alone. Opened more successful movies than any other actress in history. I think we are talking about two different things though. I’m just saying that the Jennifer Lawrence thing is more a result of an alignment of multiple unique things that is difficult to duplicate that’s why young actresses like Lilly Collins, Emma Watson, Spider-Man Emma, Shailene Woodley haven’t been able to duplicate it. The YA franchise business has officially become over saturated, it’s peaked. It’s also really hard to obtain equal respect in the YA world, the adult world and the Oscar world all at the same time.

        We haven’t had another Julia Roberts or another Tom Cruise or another Will Smith. We aren’t putting pressure on Idris Elba, Anthony Mackie, Michael B Jordan or Chiwetel Eijifor to be the next Denzel Washington because there is no quick formula to getting that level of success. Luck along with right time, right place matters a lot along with talent.

      • T.C. says:


        Thanks for the correction. I agree that Julia Roberts had a lot of movie success just based on her own name alone. Opened more successful movies than any other actress in history. I think we are talking about two different things though. I’m just saying that the Jennifer Lawrence thing is more a result of an alignment of multiple unique things and a right time, right place thing which is difficult to duplicate that’s why young actresses like Lilly Collins, Emma Watson, Spider-Man Emma, Shailene Woodley haven’t been able to duplicate it. The YA franchise business has officially become over saturated, it’s peaked. It’s also really hard to obtain equal respect in the YA world, the adult world and the Oscar world all at the same time. I think Lupita Nyong’o should be given multiple opportunities to succeed at what SHE wants from her career.

        We haven’t had another Julia Roberts or another Tom Cruise or another Will Smith. We aren’t putting pressure on Idris Elba, Anthony Mackie, Michael B Jordan or Chiwetel Eijifor to be the next Denzel Washington because there is no direct formula to getting that level of success.

    • DiamondGirl says:

      Also this is Lupita’s first movie role out of drama school. Jennifer Lawrence has been working for years, starting on a Tv sitcom before moving into film. She’s paid her dues and proven herself.

  22. Kim1 says:

    For Lupita it’s not just that she is dark skinned.Tika Sumpter and Gabby Union are darker but they are curvy sexy, femme fatale types.If Lupita can.pull off being seductive it will improve her changes especially since she looks young for her age .More than likely she will be playing the male lead’s girlfriend.

    Im confused about the Asperger comment how does that relate to Star Wars?

  23. QQ says:

    this is so gross and insulting, cause right a woman of color is not a person with emotions, range, someone you can find cute/sexy/emphatize with or anything

    never mind a Hardvard trained actress that can do light heavy or theather work, Right

  24. Karen says:

    I am black. It’s annoying that I even feel the need to mention that to sort of justify my opinion, everyone is allowed to speak on this topic. Sadly, the hollywood reporter article is right on point. And of course we’re still talking about light vs dark skin, the battle is far from won and it’s going to take a lot more than Lupita to change a thing. Women are struggling to find roles, add being a minority to the mix and the odds are stacked against you.

    During an actor roundtable, Viola Davis essentially said that black women that looked like Halley Berry were struggling so of course she would be. She was being incredibly realistic and I found it very refreshing.

  25. Renee28 says:

    Lupita’s skin color isn’t the only “obstacle” she’ll have to overcome. She’s starting her career in her 30s. She won an Oscar on her first film so no one knows what else she can do. And she’s really unknown outside of gossip sites and fashion blogs. Any one of those things would be tough to deal with but having to overcome all of them is an uphill battle.

  26. vic says:

    It’s called colorism, a term coined by Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple. She used it to describe racism between dark A.A. women and light-skinned A.A. women though it has since been used more generally. This is not new and widely known that there is much discrimination against each other within the black community. It’s a big thing with Australian Aborigines also based on varying skin tones.

    Of course this article is about being too dark but there is “color” discrimination in other ways too and not just from white people. I was at work where a young AA women was being picked on for being too light. Oprah did a show on this at the beginning of the year with lighter black women talking about their experiences.

    • Marty says:

      And unfortunately it’s something I see a lot on my mother’s side of the family which is Mexican. They didn’t want her marrying my black father because her babies would be “too dark”. On the flip side my black Grandma tells me how lucky I am to have “pretty hair” or “that Mexican hair”. It’s endelessly infuriating.

  27. lower-case deb says:

    i wonder if TV is the way to go, for now?
    make a really good pilot and see how it goes?
    a tv movie?
    or theater? i thought she was discovered on the theater stage, when she was acting in a Yale-produced graduate thing?

    i hope someone will want to take a chance on her.

  28. Amanda_M87 says:

    Call me naive, but I don’t see how her skin colour is going to stop her from getting roles, especially since she’s so pretty. The only role I couldn’t see Lupita in is one of a non- fictional person who is/was white.

  29. T.C. says:

    “Right now, she should be having meetings with Spielberg and Scorsese.”

    Scorsese has never had a Black actress in any significant role in his films. He gets a pass as one of the most famous directors who leaves out people of color. Spielberg having an adopted Black son has always tried to get Black actors whether dark skinned or light in his films.

    It’s true Hollywood and the music industry prefers light-complexion Black women like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Halle Berry even when there are much more talented darker skinned Black women. Being a light skinned Black woman in the Black community is like being a blonde woman in the White community, you are automatically glorified as better looking and given more opportunities in life.

    There are Black women who still don’t see what the mainstream find so special or beautiful about Lupita due to her darker skin. If she had Beyoncé’s complexion they wouldn’t even question why she is popular or getting magazine covers .

    • Emily C. says:

      Blonde women in the white community are actually not glorified, thought to be better looking, or given better opportunities in life. There’s still some “blondes have more fun” silliness, but that’s all it is, and it’s more than counterbalanced by all the blonde jokes.

      As a brunette, I have never once suffered from finding either men or jobs because of my hair color. The idea’s pretty laughable, honestly.

      • GeeMoney says:

        I disagree with you, Emily. I think in the white community, blondes are held up as the ideal white woman compared to brunettes and redheads. Just look at dating stats… a woman who puts out a personal ad that says she has blonde hair and blue eyes gets WAY more responses than any woman who has darker colored hair… just because she’s blonde. Look it up… that stat is definitely true.

        And look at how many women out there go out of their way to dye their hair blonde?!?! Definitely more than are trying to become brunettes. Why? Because blondes are held in higher regard. I’ve heard more men in my lifetime fawn over beautiful blonde women more so than I have ever heard of them fawn over brunettes.

        All T.C. was saying is that being blonde in the white community is the equivalent to being light skinned in that black community. And it’s true, whether you believe it or not.

      • mercy says:

        Everyone has their cross to bear (such as ‘dumb blonde’ stereotypes), but there are studies that show more “European” colouring and features are favoured across cultures. Aside from the most obvious reason (institutional racism), a couple theories I’ve read are that light skin is indicative of a privileged class that doesn’t labour in the sun, and blonde hair and blue eyes are more rare (recessive genes) and therefore more attention-getting, and as such more considered more desirable. Whatever the reasons, there is ample evidence that these biases exist.

      • Amaya says:

        I don’t know if there is variation between countries, but I come from a northern european country where nearly everyone is white and most have hair colour between light blonde to light shades of brown, and being a brunette is certainly not a disadvantage here. I’ve never felt that it’d make me less attractive, or that blondes would be valued more. Very few people have naturally dark brown to black hair, yet I see this constantly on the streets, thus lots of people dye theirs. I’m not sure if more people dye their hair lighter or darker, but it could be pretty equal.

        Could be different in the US, where there seems to be more fixation with this “California beach blonde” image, but it certainly isn’t something that applies to all white countries.

  30. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    And Zac Efron is practically glow in the dark – if he gets those dentures installed it would like he’s casper the friendly ghost. Dude needs a tan.

  31. Baby Cakes says:

    Sad very sad. Shes talented and beautiful. I can relate. I used to get the what nationality are you question a lot. I still do. It’s insulting. I struggled with not fitting in with my own people because of my features. I hope and pray this changes soon. It’s old.

  32. Emily C. says:

    Star Wars! She would make an incredible Jedi.

  33. Hellen says:

    The problem is the lack of interesting roles for women in general and of course its even worse to black actresses. Unless you are Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett or Meryl Streep .

  34. Janet says:

    “Are we really still talking about light-skinned versus dark-skinned? RLY?”

    Rly. It never ends. Trust me on this.

  35. jess says:

    I didnt find her performance oscar worthy at all. she got lucky. So it doesnt surprise me that shes not finding work.

  36. stellar says:

    No disrespect but what do you mean are we STILL talking about light vs dark….are you black? That is a tremendous, persistent issue. That dismissive sentence is troubling. It’s a fact that dark skinned women are not allowed to excel and be placed on the same pedestal….take a look at the African American women line up. Do you see any? Oh you get to see Kelly Rowland playing the basement baby to Beyonce much like solange who embraced her roots…then you have a gabrielle union…not the greatest actress but on par with plenty of white actresses and a lengthy list of credits….are mainstream white directors remotely thinking of her? No, because zoe saldana and Rosario Dawson are safe choices…Kerry Washington is a safer choice. It’s sick and it’s real.

  37. Hannah says:

    I think lupita is pretty enough to make it despite being a bit darker. Can she speak without an accent though? That might be a bigger problem, will they cast her as American?
    I am thinking noomi rapace had the same buzz a few years, rapace is amazing but it seems like her accent has limited her.

  38. LadyZebArcher says:

    I do hope we get to see more of Lupita. I really dislike the way Hollywood tokenizes these black actors and actresses.

  39. NewWester says:

    Unfortunately everything THR is true, colour is still a big deal in Hollywood and the rest of society.
    I remember when President Obama came in the scene people were commenting how a black man with such a “strange sounding” name could represent the United States!
    This story does make me wonder if President Obama had been darker in skin tone if he would have had the same problems? Let’s face it Hollywood does tend to mirror society as a whole at times

  40. Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

    We have overcome, haven’t we? Think of how things have changed, way back when, Hattie McDaniel could only win an Oscar for playing a slave, now a black actress can win an Oscar for playing a slave! Or think of Juanita Moore, she was nominated for playing a maid and now Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer get to play maids! In Sounder, a black lady’s son is saved by the kindness of a benevolent white woman and in The Blind Side, a benevolent white woman saves a black boy. Whoopi Goldberg was a downtrodden and abused black woman and Gabourey Sidibe, Halle Berry, Angela Bassett and Mo’nique are downtrodden and/or abused victims. Also Diahann Carroll was on Welfare with six kids.

    And that’s how Hollywood cured up the racism: celebrate harder.

    • mercy says:

      Omg, that’s depressing. Obviously we shouldn’t ignore history, and historical epics are traditional awards bait, but you just showed the striking lack of diversity in the kinds of roles offered to people of colour.

    • FingerBinger says:

      All the actresses you’ve named have been more than just “downtrodden and abused black woman.” Diahann Carroll also played a nurse. Julia was the first TV show that portrayed a Black woman in a professional role and not a stereotype. She also played Dominique in Dynasty, which was one of most popular soap operas in the 80′s. Whoopi Goldberg played a fake psychic in ‘Ghost’ when she won her Oscar. She didn’t win her Oscar playing an abused woman. Angela Basset has played has played variety of characters. She’s been Betty Shabazz in ‘Malcolm X’, Rosa Parks, and she played a professional in ‘How Stella Got her Groove back.’ By your comment you’ve also,in a sense, reduced Black women, to stereotypical characters.

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        I’m talking about the fact that if one comes up with a list of Oscar-nominated or winning roles the roles lean heavily, though not completely on the ‘sad plight of black women’ types of stories. Of course I’m aware that that other roles exist. Yes, other roles clearly exist but it’s pretty obvious that there’s a ‘slave of the week’ fetish in Hollywood and a disproportionate amount of major film award attention is directed towards these things types of films and I don’t think I’m imagining that. If that trend is stereotype then maybe I’ve been using the wrong dictionary.

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        I should say right off that I wasn’t talking about television and was focusing on Oscar-nominated or winning roles.

        So: I am aware of the fact that other roles exist, but with that said, to look at a list of films for which black women have been recognized at the highest level of the industry, there is a disproportionate amount of films that reside in the ‘sad plight or marginalized status of black women’ territory and I don’t believe that I am imagining that. Again, is that all that Hollywood has to say about black women? No, but there is a ‘slave of the week’ fetish within the middlebrow-seeking Oscar community and for all of the outliers like Ghost they are in the *ahem* minority.

        TV is getting better, I know about Julia (although one could make the colorism argument if so desired, but to do it would be useless endeavour) and I watched Living Single right along with everyone else. Shows like Community and the now-crappy New Girl are also expanding the palate, but I generally fail to seek that kind of progression in film.

        My reduction was based on running numbers within a specific community.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        I see Pepsi’s argument Yes, there are other kinds of roles for black women in the Oscar-baiting universe, we all know that already, but I know that I would like to see more Oscar-caliber roles for black women that don’t involve cleaning toilets or whipping scenes. Heck, I’d just flat out love to see more women of colour on the screens, period. Yes, in that world you have Ghost, but there’s a disproportionate amount of ‘underdog black women’ stories that are recognized and lauded at the ‘I’d like thank the Academy’ level–and that’s the highest level. Within Oscar culture there IS a ‘Slave of the Week’ fetish and having just looked up a list of black, Oscar-nominated actresses, there is a tendency. Within the world of the Academy awards (or I guess, the major acting awards in general), Ghost is there and you’ve got Dreamgirls and the criminally annoying Diana Ross for Lady… but that’s the minority, so to speak. Normally I agree with you but I don’t think this is reduction, it’s just looking at what frequently happens. TV is improving though.

    • allheavens says:

      Nailed it! We are not post-racial, we have not overcomed and in almost 75 years Black actresses are still considered mainly as:

      1) the Help

      2), the uneducated downtrodden,

      3) the sassy sage,

      4) the nonsexual white girls’ best friend or

      5) so Hollywood can have it both ways, the hyper-sexual seductress.

      I have white friends who will argue that this isn’t true anymore but they are wrong.

  41. Luca26 says:

    Yeah I’m not surprised at all. When the incredibly grating Rooney Mara beat her out for a role it just cemented what some of us knew she has an uphill battle amoung the Old boys network. One caveat is that Halle Berry isn’t as talented as Lupita, she isn’t classically trained and her career went downhill because she took on a few horrible movies like Catgirl.

  42. M.A.F. says:

    “There’s also a discussion in that article about Halle Berry and how if Halle (being light-skinned) couldn’t find consistent work, then Lupita has no chance. Are we really still talking about light-skinned versus dark-skinned? RLY?”

    Umm, Berry has no talent that is why she can’t find consistent work. That, and she is a little crazy (am I the only one who remembers that little fender-bender a few years back then she showed to the Gold Globes the following day in that salsa looking outfit w/her patty straps showing?).

    As for Lupita, give the girl time. She only has one movie under belt and her personality isn’t has in your face as Hathaway/JLaw which is refreshing.

  43. Damaris says:

    My fear for Lupita has, unfortunately, come true. I truly love to hate Hollywood and their subtle (or obvious) racism. They claim they are liberal, but they will leave Lupita and other actors and actresses of color in the dust before hiring them as a lead in their films. Shame, shame, shame. I’d tell Lupita to take her beauty and brains and put her energy into another career path. Hollywood is hopeless.

  44. F.A.C. says:

    I feel like even contributing to this discussion is contributing to racism.

  45. Cloud&feather says:

    “No” roles for black women…changing Nick Fury so Samuel L. Jackson can portray him. Now what Hollywood? Stop lying. Just change the role! FFS

  46. vv says:

    They wrote Tom Cruises’s character into a female so Salt could star Angelina Jolie. So yeah, proof that Hollywood will re-write and turn shit upside down easy-peasy…if it really wants to.

    I am looking forward to seeing what she does next. I kind of hope she does turn up in Star Wars.

  47. Kim1 says:

    Enough with the Halle hate, for those of you who are blaming it on lack of talent.Explain why Angela and Viola don’t have success in feature films as the lead actress? Why is Angela doing TV? Why is Halle doing a TV show? Middle aged actresses are doing tv because of the lack of quality dramatic film roles.
    As for Lupita TYAS was screened last August at Telluride I wonder if she has been auditioning for roles since then.If not Why?

  48. Maria says:

    Well, let’s hope Lupita proves them wrong and has one long, seriously interesting and good career. She already seems to have claimed the Audrey Hepburn of her generation mantle, so we’ll see what she does next.

  49. Aisha says:

    This attitude is just gross. Why exactly does an actress/actor have to “look white”, in order for the audience to relate to them? Maybe if Hollywood started putting more effort into writing well rounded characters with interesting stories instead of dumbing everything down because they assume the general public are lobotomised zombies with no imagination this wouldn’t be such an issue. Maybe they’d sell more tickets if they looked at a dark skinned girl and didn’t immediately think hmmm lets cast her as a slave in another goddamn period piece when they could look at the same girl and cast her in, I dunno, ANY ROLE, because she’s a person. It’s like they don’t even want to try.

    • LadyS says:

      They DON’T want to try. I also think we need more black screenwriters and black directors that don’t give into the typical crap. I’m sick of life in the hood, life as a druggie, life as a slave, Will Smith action crap, and Tyler Perry. I want REAL, INTENSE, DRAMA!! Damn these people! Shonda Rhimes should be writing some movies, please.

      • Aisha says:

        Yes to all of that! Was gonna mention Perry, black actors shouldn’t have to resort to doing Tyler Perry movies, hell NO ONE should have to do Tyler Perry movies, he’s the worst! I guess that’s why audiences are turning to television for entertainment now, Hollywood refuses to take risks which is why all we get are terrible remakes and franchises that have a built in audience from book series/comics, etc. Maybe they’ll eventually learn something but then I’ve always been a hopeless optimist :)

  50. Moi says:

    She lives in Brooklyn? I like her already. I loved her in ’12 years a slave’. I honestly forgot that she is the one always talked about in the press when watching it. She was that good. I would like to see her in more movies, and no offense to the other actresses stated above, but I would honestly prefer to see Lupita in more movies, no matter the plot.

  51. Van Rijn says:

    Just speaking for myself, a near transparent white woman, I would follow Lupita and her talents to the end of the world. I hope and pray that she has the fabulous and multidimensional career she deserves!! Lupita forever. :)

  52. CassieWZ says:

    If Lupita can’t make her way of success into Hollywood, she could try the Independent movies route or try to get into the movies industry of another countries.

    Asian-American actors of Chinese ancestry who know Cantonese or Mandarin go to China and Hong Kong because they have no chance in hell to achieve what they want in US. The same thing happens to American actors of Korean and Japanese ethnic background who know enough of their parent’s languages so they go to South Korea and Japan to work.
    Asian-American actors who don’t want to do it go into independent movies and keep on trying for roles in Hollywood movies.

    Native-Americans of different tribes have created their own independent movies world, only this way they are able to do what they want.

  53. TheOriginalWaffle says:

    Some of those quotes are so obnoxious. Gee, “Hollywood executive,” could it be YOUR fault that roles are (supposedly) not written for women like Lupita? Circular reasoning. I bet there are tons of screenwriters in Hollywood trying desperately to peddle scripts that would have roles for a Lupita.

    Don’t these Hollywood execs understand that they will be rewarded if they decided to pursue scripts that will have roles for Lupita and other dark-skinned ladies? I am white, but I don’t need to identify with the characters for me to be interested in the story. The whole model of “seeing yourself in the characters” is totally flawed.

    • LadyS says:

      Exactly, film is just another form of storytelling. I’m black and one of my all time favorite writers is George Meredith. Do I “see” myself in his work? Not exactly, but that doesn’t take away from the beauty of his poetry. Can’t the same be done with films? What about the black members of the audience? What characters should they be “identifying” with in all-white movies? This is total bullshit, especially considering white people are now the minority in the world!!

    • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

      I agree that it is flawed and there is a really upsetting implication that is just beyond depressing (not to mention untrue) about both white people and people of colour that mainstream entertainment won’t stop peddling. What Hollywood is saying is:

      - What, do you don’t expect people to actually care about non-white people, do you?

      - What, you don’t expect people of colour to care about about characters who aren’t white, they go to the movies, so clearly the fact that there are few other options so they’re automatically going to end up watching monochrome casts is a non-factor.
      -Isn’t it obvious that they don’t bear the complexity of the human experience that whites do?

      -White people are incapable of feeling anything for characters who aren’t exactly like them unless they get to be proud of themselves because they don’t own anyone.

      Hollywood has a lot of contempt for the people who make it what it is, doesn’t it? It purports to know our minds and desires entirely and here we are with more people of every race being happy that Lupita is around– not just because ‘its hard out here’ but because they like her, period. Nuts to the two fools I met who said that her win is proof that affirmative action has gone too far (and yes, one of them was a white woman, and no, she wouldn’t hear about the greatest number of recipients of said action). It’s nice to see that people here aren’t ignorant.

      But there is the issue of predominantly black casts having problems making money in certain countries overseas. I don’t have anything to offer about that donnybrook.

  54. Penny says:

    I suspect Lupita is going to struggle more than African American actresses because she’s very obviously African, not African American. How many people were going on and on about how ‘exotic’ (ugh) she looked during awards season, the colouring of her skin, her hair etc. Even on the black gossip sites people were saying this stuff. She looks like a Kenyan woman, and Hollywood isn’t good as casting anyone who looks foreign as anything other than ‘the foreign one’.

  55. Ren says:

    This article is crap, there are successful darker skin actresses in Hollywood like Viola Davis, Cicely Tyson and so forth. The only problem i’d see her having in Hollywood, is that she is foreign and with a noticeable accent. She really doesn’t look that much different from any other Black American woman. Lupita is a beautiful woman and I think she has the potential for a long career in the movie industry. Hollywood is fickle when it comes to foreign actors anyway.

  56. Dalovelee says:

    Wow I wish people would stop buying into this crazy myth that she can’t get ahead in Hollywood because of her skin color. The woman has an Oscar! Her obstacle in Hollywood is she is now among of highly successful and accomplished black actresses competing for roles. Her advantage is her Oscar… But do you think all the other prominent black actresses in her age range now are saying to their agents no I don’t want to audition for great parts because they should only be given to Lupita?! It’s competitive and now she’s got to fight for roles. To use her skin color as an excuse it’s ridiculous… Should she be given roles because she is dark skin? It was sort of crazy to award someone who is a first timer without a lot of creds under her belt because now she has to prove that it wasn’t just liberal Hollywood wasn’t feeling generous and her talent has to go up against other formidable black actresses competing for meaty roles. As for how dark her skin color is, please explain Viola Davis and Gabourey … It’s a negative article that wants darker skin color women to feed a defeated attitude.

  57. mary says:

    Even after three hundred years black people are still insulted and bullied. I have looked around me and I am yet to see anyone with the perfect skin complexion.You guys should stop making your fellow human beings feel bad about themselves. Very childish.

  58. First of all says:

    I’m black and a Hispanic co-worker always tells me she likes my hair and she’s touched it two or three times. I don’t mind at all.

  59. Oompa says:

    Skin bleaching is a huuuuge industry. Women (and men) are covering their skin in toxic waste in order to appear more “beautiful” and “successful”. Dancehall artists are appearing willingly as spoke persons, and the results (in my opinion) are horrifying. YouTube is full of documentaries.

    So to think that this mindset somehow wouldn’t apply to Hollywood is just silly.

  60. Jennifer12 says:

    What the hell stupid s–t is this? Hollywood doesn’t want people who aren’t white? Black women have to be watered down and light skinned to appeal to Causasian men? Disgusting. Who wants parts in their crappy flicks? Art house movies are the way to go if that’s true. Who wants to star in yet another s—y blockbuster?

  61. Alin says:

    has someone here seen the trailer for “Belle”? British period drama with a mixed race female main character. The illegitimate daughter of a white aristocrat and a black woman lives with her posh white family and has to deal with racism.
    The movie looks good. And it´s a true story.

    • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

      This looks to be worth watching – also along the same lines -The novel “Queen” by Authors Alex Haley and David Stevens. A little off topic digression- My cousin lived with my grandmother – total english lady- and his father is black: my aunt was young when she had him and grandma raised him. My cousin and his wife who is also biracial – cared for grandma in her senior years..when in her final days. Relatives, some who hadn’t seen her in quite some time – came visiting at the hospital and no big deal; howeverl it was assumed by many staff that my cousin and his wife were the servants yet they were the long term care givers and the closest of family. You can’t always assume relation by a persons appearance too. In the Novel Queen – she passes for being White. It is an interesting read if memory serves correctly it was began by Alex Haley and completed by David Stevens .

    • Cloud&feather says:

      I’ve seen the trailer and would like to see the movie! Reading about the Zong massacre was just heartbreaking.

  62. Bina says:

    Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie says she wants Lupita to play Ifemelu in the film adaptation of “Americanah”, a fine novel about race in America and what it means to be African American or Non African American Black in the United States. I rate it highly and recommend it to all the AA’s on this board, as well as those others who want to get familiar with American life from a different perspective. Lupita would kill it in that role… although Ifemelu is a light-skinned Igbo woman in the book. But still, I think it would be a great role for her.

    • DJohnson says:

      Thanks for the information.
      We have to remember that Lupita has her designs on being a director and writer as well.
      Her intellect sets her apart from a lot of actresses, black and white. For me, and I would imagine for many others, what she says and how she says it is mesmerizing. She is a demure, poised and humble individual who understands the world in which she lives, in it’s totality. Most women of African descent LOVE their skin color. From high noon to midnight and everything in between. And we would not change it for anything. If people cannot accept for who you are, they certainly cannot accept you for who you are not!!

  63. Kath says:

    “…with a distinctly black, African face”

    Bloody hell, what does that mean? Hollywood types are idiots.

    It doesn’t seem to occur to these geniuses that perhaps, just perhaps, it is the fact that Lupita looks like herself and not like a million other wannabe starlets that appealed to audiences in the first place?

    Even having natural short hair instead of wearing a weave to appease the straight-hair Nazis got people’s attention – in a positive way.

    I’m sick to death of seeing only the 5% of the human race which conforms to a certain ‘mould’ reflected in Hollywood movies. Lupita was the darling of the awards season BECAUSE of her whole shtick, not despite it.

  64. Penny says:

    I should have responded to the description of Lupita “as very African” and any other reference to that effect earlier than now. I get the sense that the perception of African looks is rigid and overly emphasizes dark-skin. I hope everyone realizes that the people on the African continent are very diverse, not only in skin tone or shade, but facial features, hair texture and body type. Due to climate differences and colonialism there are bi- racial or mixed race Africans. And I’m not just referring to North Africans – Arab/Middle Eastern or Egyptians. “Obviously African-looking” to me as a fellow African means different things. I can make the distinction between subtle characteristic features of some, if we focus on features. For example – Somalis and Eritreans tend to have oval faces (narrow) faces, smaller, angular noses and high cheekbones – like Iman, whereas, Kenyans’ are likely to be more round faced, apple-cheeked, button-nosed and cherubic much like Lupita. And that is just one tiny example. I used the word “tend” hoping my audience understands I am being careful not to make blanket generalizations over any particular groups or subgroups, i.e, those from the continent vs a specific country. Also, in African just as the USA, it is more likely a light-skinned African with straighter hair and European features is 9/10 times perceived as more attractive than a darker, coarser-haired, non-European featured counterpart. Standards of beauty were ingrained by White colonists in Africa as White Imperialists in America. African apartheid is the most outstanding example of how Whiteness is associated with a better quality of life and access to opportunity, etc. When you think of phenotype as the signal of how one should be treated, it absolutely saddens me. Worse off – that a race of people was subjugated in such a way that the legacy of Whiteness being better has tainted that group’s value systems of their own indigenous physical qualities.

  65. Knockonwood says:

    I’ve been reading this site for a while now and have never commented, just enjoyed reading your discussions and thoughts and the fact that most people are able to have disagreements without getting personal or rude (unlike other sites like the DM!!). I’ve learned so much since I started coming here! I grew up in the south of Germany and whilst I’ve always believed in treating everyone equally and fairly I haven’t been exposed much to issues of colour simply because there aren’t many coloured people where I grew up (apart from the few American soldiers stationed in Germany my girlfriends and I dreamed of marrying when we were younger!). Maybe this shows my naivety or denial but I have never heard about blackface before I came to this site and I never thought there’d be issues about the ‘difference’ between lighter and darker black skin! So thanks guys for educating me and making me look up all these things!

  66. Maybe says:

    I agree that it will be a struggle for LN. Racism is alive and well in regards to those who are dark and have African features. I’m hoping that it is less and less robust as each day passes. However, I can only hope that the younger generation is smarter than past and present. My daughter, who is a blonde haired, blue eyed 14 year old hs freshman, watched “12 Years” with me. Before the Oscars, she told me that many of the girls in her (somewhat mixed but mostly white school) freshman through senior were cheering Lupita on and thought she deserved to win. She was thrilled when Lupita won. She went on and on about how naturally beautiful she was and didn’t need makeup or plastic surgery, and that her performance was the best . She also appreciated LN’s acceptance speech word for word. Here’s wishing for a future filled with women who support one another for their true inner and outer beauty.

    • Penny says:

      @ Maybe you should give yourself a pat on the back. I’m sure your daughter is able to look passed racial differences and appreciate diversity and not make it a game of relativism because you raise her in an environment of love and tolerance. Bravo.

  67. andypandy says:

    There is no comparison between Lupitas performance in 12 yrs and Halles in Monsters ball other than they are both black , Lupita can act and was able to touch her audience with her portrayal of Patsy in a way that resonated with them even after they left the theater. All that is memorable from Halle in monsters ball is that god awful BW are wild animals in bed scene with Billy Bob (Sissy Spacek was robbed that year if you ask me ). To say that Lupitas Oscar is more political than Halles is quite frankly laughable

  68. bamabrasileira says:

    WOW! It is nice to know that an intelligent, beautiful, dark skinned Black person can STILL strike so much fear into the hearts of white Americans! It is interesting to see that, they are trying to make her into a lesbian (and what’s wrong with that ANYWAY?) compare her negatively to lighter-skinned Beyonce and Halle, and cut her wings before she even has a chance to think about lifting off, as if her skin color is the ONLY determining factor for her success. I like how this article conveniently forgets about all the white “leads” who have fallen off the face of the Earth, as far as acting goes. Here, let me remind you: Kate Hudson, Helen Hunt, Adrien Brody, Rene Zelweger, Brendan Frasier, Mira Sorvino, Alicia Silverstone, Macaulay Culkin, Demi Moore, Meg Ryan, Mel Gibson, that ugly redhead from Harry Potter…The list is to long for me to continue. What is the excuse of all these white actors for their demise. Do they also need to look more like Beyonce to continue to get work?

  69. Stephanie says:

    I didn’t find the quotes insulting, just brutally honest. Yes, we really are still talking about light skin vs dark skin. It’s still a major problem in Hollywood. That’s what I find insulting. There is so little progress on this front.

  70. B1 says:

    As an openly gay professional actor I can really relate to what Lupita is going through. I have had casting directors, and agents tell me that I have to acting talent, face and body to be a leading man but I will never be a leaning man in a major film because I am openly gay. I was told by more then one agent that most producers will not put an openly gay man as the leading man in a film because they feel that when women go see a movie they want to pretend and fantasies about the leading man being attracted to them and they will not be able to do that with an openly gay actor no matter how good his acting is. I also had a casting director once say to me when I was starting out that most producer will not put an openly gay men in a leading role in a major blockbuster film because the men that go to these films want to fantasies that they are the leading man, but they will not be able to do that when the leading male actor is openly gay and it will ruin the movie experience for the male viewers. Many people don’t realize it that in this day and age many openly gay actors in Hollywood are still having to deal with this type of discrimination. You would think that we would be way past this type of prejudice and discrimination in this day and age but we are not.