Kerry Washington was fired from two TV shows for not being ‘hood’ enough

variety

Variety has been parceling out their pre-Emmy “Actors on Actors” discussions. It’s Variety’s annual thing, to do one-on-one actors interviewing other actors instead of The Hollywood Reporter’s “actor/actress roundtable” discussions. This year, Variety paired up Aziz Ansari and Kerry Washington, and now I sort of want to see Kerry and Aziz do a romantic comedy together. You can see the full video here at Variety. The part getting the most attention is where Kerry and Aziz talk about typecasting and stereotype-casting. As in, they’ve both been called in to audition for two-dimensional “ethnic” or “street” characters. And Kerry says flat-out that she’s been fired for not being “hood” enough.

Hollywood is no stranger to stereotype casting. “Scandal’s” Kerry Washington and “Master of None” star and executive producer Aziz Ansari have come face to face with this reality on multiple occasions throughout their careers. The actors swapped nightmare stories during a sit-down for Variety‘s fourth season of “Actors on Actors.”

“Before ‘Scandal,’ I was actually cast in two other pilots. Both went to series, but I was fired and recast,” Washington said. “For both, it was because they wanted me to sound more ‘girlfriend,’ more like ‘hood,’ more ‘urban.’”

While Washington experienced the repercussions of not fitting a certain stereotype, she soon discovered that it wasn’t exclusive to racial cliches.

“I’ve had friends of mine say like they’re tired of ‘gayface’ and I was like, ‘What’s gayface?’ They were like, ‘It’s the gay version of blackface, like come in and be more effeminate,”‘ Washington said, recounting past conversations.

“It’s interesting; like every person that’s not a straight, white guy has their version of this,” Ansari said. Ansari said he’s shown up to auditions only to find he got booked because the project was trying to cast a certain look.

“A lot of other minority actors have told me, ‘Oh, this so rings a bell’ when you go into an audition room and you see a bunch of people that look like you and you just start feeling like, ‘Oh I’m not here [for me], I’m here because I fit what looks like the person they want in here,”‘ Ansari said, referencing a “Master of None” episode — “Indians on TV” — where he addresses auditioning. Ansari said as executive producer of “Master of None,” he has tried to bring authenticity to the characters he features on the Netflix show, allowing them to keep their own clothing styles and be themselves instead of becoming a character on a page.

“I feel like a lot of times people don’t do that and then you end up with other people’s perception of what certain people are like,” Ansari said.

“I definitely feel like I’m at that point where it’s nice to not have to sit at home and wait to be invited to the party, but to be creating work for yourself,” Washington added.

[From Variety]

I would love to know which shows Kerry is discussing, and if those shows are even on the air at this point. I doubt they are. While I personally don’t watch the Shonda Rhimes shows, I appreciate that Shonda’s shows are cast without resorting to these ridiculous stereotypes. Kerry is an African-American woman playing a bad-ass political fixer, a role that would be played by a white actress on almost any other network, you know? As for Kerry being deemed not “hood” enough by casting directors… I’ve watched Kerry do roundtable discussions with other actresses, and by far, Kerry always comes across as the most confident, the most educated (she has a college degree), the smartest and the most thoughtful person in the room. It’s sad that the only parts casting directors saw for her were these one-note characters.

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Photos courtesy of Variety, WENN.

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92 Responses to “Kerry Washington was fired from two TV shows for not being ‘hood’ enough”

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  1. Sisi says:

    How does a person sound more girlfriend?

    I didn’t even know that was a thing XD

    • LAK says:

      This is the audition version of not being ‘black enough’ because the definitive stereotype of black people is urban ghetto. That’s what ‘girlfriend’ means in this context. It happens to many non-white people in all walks of life if they don’t confirm to the stereotype of that their group has been assigned.

      That’s not to say that the character she was auditioning for wasn’t written that way because we shall never know, but the fact that she mentions that particular stereotype as the reason she thinks she didn’t book the job leads one to only that conclusion because it happens to all of us many, many times.

    • Almondjoy says:

      More girlfriend as in “heyyy girlfriend.” It’s how black female characters are usually expected to speak. More urban.

      • Lisa says:

        I was also thinking of the stereotype of the jealous black girlfriend, like the whole, “Heellll no, girl, you di’int just look at my man!” thing.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      It could also mean, “GIRLFRANDDD” which is basically what happens in so many movies and TV shows where the cast is almost entirely white but the one token minority girlfriend of the main female lead is there to tell her to get her groove back, roll her eyes over her not going for Mr. Right, and be comic relief saying many stereotypical things all in the background until the two perfect couple finally realize they’re perfect for each other and girlfriend ends the movie with a neck roll and a “Mhmm-hmmm!”

      Cross between the magical negro trope and the token stereotype.

    • Sisi says:

      @ LAK, Almondjoy & The Eternal Side-Eye

      ahhh thanks, that makes way more sense than how I interpreted it (male protagonists googly eyed armcandy). I think I may have been having a brainfart.

      • LAK says:

        In a ‘male protagonist arm candy’ girlfriend is basically code for dumb baywatch-type Babe with big boobs and Texas hair. And if they can’t find someone who fits, they dress the chosen actress accordingly. See all of Adam Sandler’s movies.

  2. FTW says:

    “….into an audition room and you see a bunch of people that look like you and you just start feeling like, ‘Oh I’m not here [for me], I’m here because I fit what looks like the person they want in here,”

    Isn’t that the whole point of acting? Your supposed to look like the character, so a a whole bunch of people who look like the character audition?

    • meme says:

      exactly. they all need to stop whining.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Except for many persons of color who are basically auditioning for the police line up version of a job.

      Male. Indian. 18-45.

      Don’t worry about any other talents or skills you could bring to the character, you’re going to be playing a cab driver with a thick accent and stereotypical comic relief who pronounces words funny and has a goat.

      World’s quite different when you look outside your bubble.

    • Almondjoy says:

      FTW and Meme, The point went clear over both of your heads 🤔

    • Lena says:

      The point is, that a character should be more than just race. Grey’s anatomy does race blind casting so there might be a lot of 30something women auditioning for the role of a “ambitious, career driven but also single mom” doctor and some of them might be white, some Asian, some black or Hispanic. However, what she describes is coming into a casting and realizing that they just wanted the token, stereotypical black girlfriend of the main white character or so.

    • Shelley says:

      You’ve missed the point entirely. -_-

    • Goodnight says:

      To a certain point. If a character is a certain ethnicity or has certain features that are important to the character you’re going to want to cast someone who fits those points. However, those aren’t the majority of parts.

      So many parts aren’t written with any specific features/ethnicity in mind, but they just default to white and attractive because that’s the overwhelming majority in the industry.

  3. Squiggisbig says:

    If they wanted someone hood not sure hiring someone who graduated from Spence was such a great idea! But apparently there’s only one type of blackness…

  4. kiki says:

    Because, the white Hollywood always assume that minorities are only good for a second fiddle rolls for their movies and think that everyone can relate to the white actors and actress who play the meatier parts. I am a black woman, and as much as most white actors and actresses are really good in the lead roles, I am sick of seeing them. Me Before You was pure SHIIIIIIIIIIIITE (sorry for the expletive) but what these people do not understand is that maybe some people and myself are fed up of seeing white actors and actresses staring at each other and think this would “aww shucks, this is so romantic” or “who that Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie write this walls on this one” or even worse “omg I am going to cry because Alicia Vikander is in the movies sniff, sniff” ( I am sorry for being so passionate, I know she is a nice person ( so they say) but I am sick of people praising her for her beauty and her ‘impressive’ acting just because she can cry on cue, pfft whatever)

    Anyways, I think Aziz Ansari is right and Kerry Washington has every right to speak out and if they get black balled by these P*ssy white Hollywood, don’t worry they both have the back of public.

    • lucy2 says:

      I just saw Me Before You last night, and I couldn’t believe the lack of diversity. I think in the entire movie, I saw 2 non-white people, and they were a couple at the wedding. The camera held on them for a second like “look, look, diversity!”.

      • KHLBHL says:

        To be fair, isn’t it set in rural England? Haven’t read the book or seen the movie, but that was my understanding of the plot. From what I know about England, it’s not as diverse or accepting or cosmopolitan as they like to think they are. My friend’s family (they aren’t white) used to live in a more rural (not London, not a big city) part of England and they said everyone there was extremely racist. But then again, that is anecdotal and subjective, so who knows? Realistically, I don’t think there are large numbers of non-white people outside of the major cities.

      • lucy2 says:

        That is the setting, so sure it might not be the most diverse place, but there were also various characters from London (couldn’t one of his friends or former coworkers have been a person of color?), and several scenes with decent size crowds of people. I think there was certainly opportunity.

      • Honey says:

        I understand what you are saying about the setting but when it comes to movies that should predominantly have darker skinned actors, like that one with Christian Bale in Egypt, logic goes out the window. If we are supposed to believe that Christian is Egyptian, then why can’t we have more diversity in a movie set in rural England.

  5. QQ says:

    Im always bemused as f*ck at how other people expect blackness to be almost…performed for them… Sometimes they want you to be sassy, and neck rolly and know how to twerk (in my case, Ive lost count of how many times ive been asked to say something in Spanish in bed) , other times you get pats for being child free , eloquent, educated, your brilliance as a person is recognized because you arent “like other blacks”, is so f*cking exhausting, Is hard to explain to people that one can be erudite and still want to sing some Gucci Mane Mad Loud in the car and be nerdy and have interest in black pop culture and love and hip hop and social issues and like Jeopardy/p0rn whatever or something, is almost as if, Only one kind of people can have depth and dimension and sides

    • LAK says:

      Amen.

      Not forgetting the barely surpressed surprise that your speech is ‘normal’ and not in ebonics or littered in swear words or sing songy

    • Monie says:

      Tell me about it. I dated an Asian guy in college and his mom despised me until she met me and saw that I wasn’t “THAT kind of Black girl”. I was always cordial and respectful to her but kept her at arms length after that. Years later I still get the comments about how well spoken I am, etc like that makes me less Black. That is laughable because some of the worst English I hear comes from the mouths of White folks (I’m from North Carolina). But I guess their broken English and jacked up verb-tenses are okay.

    • Calico Cat says:

      I’ve been told by a few people in college that the reason I’m not hood enough is because only my father is black. Maybe that explains it!

      • Honey says:

        I’m also mixed race and people are always trying to decide if I’m more black or more on the white side…what does that even mean? This one woman I worked with used to tell me all the time that I seemed more white, until the day I came in with braids…she was like you look so gangster and tried to touch them..I slapped her hand away!

    • sunny says:

      Yes- this so much. When you don’t conform to someone’s expectation of blackness they seem surprised and do not consider you black(as if that is a compliment). I think some people struggle with seeing any visible minorities as complex individuals beyond 2-D stereotypes

      • HK9 says:

        People don’t realize that these stereotypes deny your humanity in all its complexity which is another form of racism. Yes, black people are human just like you and are not only one thing.

    • Almondjoy says:

      Preach 😩🙌🏾 I can’t like your comment enough, QQ. You explained it perfectly. I work at an elementary school where almost all the teachers are white and the things they say, the expectations they have and the assumptions they make are horrifying at times. Exhausting indeed.

      • QQ says:

        That is terrifying to me Almondjoy cause those expectations lowered and whatnot is what they put on kids too, this is hot perfectly bright children will fall through the cracks or not be pushed to their full potential

      • Almondjoy says:

        Exactly! It’s sickening honestly. I’m so disgusted with them at this point in the school year I’m like pleeeease let this END right now because my patience is scanty. These children can be ANYTHING they want to be and they have the intelligence to do so but you hold them back and dash their confidence because they happen to be brown.

      • Carol says:

        @almondjoy That is so depressing to hear, teachers acting like that. What kind of message does that send to kids? That just makes my blood boil. 😔

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Hallelujah and let the church say amen.

      Always from the people who’ve never had any experiences with POC outside of TV and are afraid/hoping you’ll roll up as the stereotypical gum popping sassy busy body ready to fix their life.

      Uh, no ma’am, I’m the STAR in MY movie, I don’t have any advice on how you can get your groove back.

      • HH says:

        AMEN. And you better preach your damn self. That last sentence had me snapping and clapping.

    • LAR says:

      Someone in my husband’s (white) family just described me as “professional” from interaction during a family event where I was rolling around barefoot with our baby. My husband and I giggled at that one. I guess I wasn’t as “black” as they were expecting.

    • madly says:

      My friend, who is black, told me that he gets more crap from other black people than anyone else because he acted too “white”. He is an articulate, educated, and business savvy person who can make friends in his sleep and is open with everyone. I don’t think these qualities are just for white people.

      • Jane.fr says:

        It happened to me more than once. And I’m biracial. Especially in the states. I was told that I was not black enough, African enough. Thought it especially funny coming from people whose link to Africa is generation away when half my family actually lives there.

      • delorb says:

        He probably gets more crap to his face from black people. There is no telling what is being said by whites, out of earshot.

    • ab says:

      this is a great comment! also, “one can be erudite and still want to sing some Gucci Mane Mad Loud in the car” made me lol for real.

    • I Choose Me says:

      I’m always bemused as f*ck at how other people expect blackness to be almost…performed for them…

      I’m here in the choir backing you all up with some hallelujahs and tell thems.

    • HH says:

      I needed all of that. You hit the nail on the head. Its not only frustrating, but exhausting.

      • QQ says:

        SUPER TIRING!, cause it’s also how this sh*t and these message bleed into behaviors like self policing your behavior in public, code switching at work, is b*llshit like infighting about “Acting black” is the side eyes at the Smith kids for being different, is the tiredness of explaining to people that expressing surprise that you _____ for a black person isn’t complimentary and you aren’t rare either, but then having to still perform embassy envoy duties LOL, is having to also then explain to others than your fellow black people that are poor and less cultured whether by choice or circumstance and our less “respectable” or society conforming members are still us, still in the diaspora, that most of us with sense don’t disavow them/still care about their experience and due process not just their twitter brilliance/LoLz value etc

        I’m glad the past few years have just brought these convos to a head cause I’m in the mindset of being very very pro woman, pro black, pro poor, pro all my POC just standing together in one accord and holding this mirror to people in public

      • HH says:

        “pro all my POC just standing together in one accord and holding this mirror to people in public” >>>> This last sentence is what I want, but also have such an issue with. Sometimes it seems like certain POC distance themselves from the struggle and attempt to assimilate to “whiteness,” but jump on board with blacks whenever we make any inroads. Like everyone loves the idea of Black woman and “lemonade” and us loving ourselves. But no one wants to #sayhername. Strength is taken from us, but never returned. There’s hardly any reciprocity.

  6. Boobaas says:

    She was in the unaired pilot of “wonderfulls” (2004), Tracie Thomas replaced her.

    And in “The Guardian”… I’m unclear who replaced her in this one. (2002)

    • KHLBHL says:

      I don’t know about “The Guardian” but I heard Tracie Thoms (actual spelling of her name) had to replace Kerry on “Wonderfalls” (a Bryan Fuller show before “Pushing Daisies”) because of scheduling issues. Tracie Thoms never played her character “hood” or “urban” or anything like that (I’ve watched the entire season) so I don’t know if Kerry’s referring to that show specifically. Kerry wasn’t the only one replaced on Wonderfalls, by the way. Adam Scott was replaced by Lee Pace, also for scheduling reasons (neither Kerry nor Adam could commit to future episodes). I really hope “Wonderfalls” is not one of the shows she is referring to, because it doesn’t seem to be the case. This could be an instance of misunderstanding. I hope.

      • lucy2 says:

        Kerry was in a Season 2 episode of the Guardian, according to IMDB, so I’m thinking that’s not the other series.
        Wonderfalls is the only one I found, and I was thinking the same thing, I don’t remember Thoms’ version being a stereotype (haven’t seen it in a long time) and other actors were swapped out as well. Maybe it was 2 other shows? I don’t know.

        I think it’s pretty common for some actors to be replaced between pilot and series, but if Kerry was given that as a reason, that SUCKS. She’s fantastic, those shows missed out, and were crappy to treat her that way.

    • Brittney B. says:

      I’ll be really disappointed if she was re-cast in Wonderfalls because of racist stereotyping… will make me rethink that whole show.

      Another (white male) part was recast too, but I’m probably being naive if I think race wasn’t a factor. Tracie did assume the “sassy friend” role, now that I think about it. Yet another show that alienated audience members for no good reason… but I was a young white girl, and it catered to my perspective, so I didn’t question it.

      Yeah, now that I’m thinking about it & Tracie’s character… Wonderfalls was one of them for sure.

  7. Monie says:

    I was a theater minor in college but dropped out as one of the leads of a very popular play because the director kept chiding me to “act more Black”. I refused to play a caricature and was blackballed from several productions after that. However, I was not about to let a White guy tell me how to act Black. I had been Black for 20 years at that point and felt that I pretty much had it down.

    • Almondjoy says:

      Good for you! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Love that you didn’t bend and compromise your values for their amusement and entertainment.

      • Monie says:

        Thank you. I struggled back then about if I had made the right decision. But looking back on it, it was right on the money!

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      ” I had been Black for 20 years at that point and felt that I pretty much had it down.”

      This is perfection. Damn right.

    • HH says:

      “I had been Black for 20 years at that point and felt that I pretty much had it down.” >>> I’m dying over here. I love this.

      It’s weird because after going to a mostly white schools, I got caught up in what is “blackness?” Because I also had other Blacks implying that I wasn’t Black enough and white kids also surprised that I didn’t “act Black.” I always knew common sense says there is no one definition of Black, but it takes a while to truly own and walk in that statement.

      • Monie says:

        Same thing happened to me; often one of few minorities in my grade school classes and attended a predominately White college. I decided that being Black was being ME, pure and simple.

      • HH says:

        @Monie – “I decided that being Black was being ME, pure and simple.” >>> YES. There are such a variety of experiences among Blacks, and yet, we ourselves can fall into the idea of tropes.

      • Monie says:

        Exactly!!

    • tealily says:

      Ha! Good for you. That must have taken some guts!

  8. Frosty says:

    I would guess most black actors have to deal with this issue – IMO Hollywood is either pushing stereotypes or patting itself on the back for pushing against them. “Sassy Black Woman,” “Smart Asian,” “Nebbish Who Is A Pedophile” – oh wait, that’s Woody Allen.

  9. Neelyo says:

    I believe it. I was an actor and was told on several occasions that I wasn’t ‘black enough’ or could I be more ‘street’.

  10. madly says:

    She seemed plenty “hood” in Save the Last Dance.

    • Almondjoy says:

      Yes and it was one role. The sad thing is, she’s probably been expected to act that way in every single thing she tried out for since then. Because black women only act one way, right?

      • OriginallyBlue says:

        Obviously AlmondJoy. The darker you are the less complex you’re allowed to be. I can’t remember how many times white friends have told me they are blacker than me because I wasn’t into rap or Rand B, and ‘talked white’
        If I ever tried to copy the black people I saw on tv or use incorrect grammar, my mom would give me THE LOOK and I would stop before she kicked my backside.

    • Tiffany says:

      So being a black teen mother is hood. Got it. Because her charcter was a tough, teenager and had a kid.

  11. KHLBHL says:

    Let’s look at this problem another way. Perhaps the only roles being written are set in a specific environment with minority characters acting in a stereotypical manner, so those are the only opportunities available for minority actors and thus they’re going to be asked by directors to act only one way. The roles themselves are flimsy and superficial. That’s the problem with Hollywood. They need to create better roles, instead of ones that are always “black male” = “drug dealer” or “Asian male” = “effeminate, awkward tech support” or “woman” = “stripper with a heart of gold”.

    • OriginallyBlue says:

      They are clearly writing stereotypical roles and offering them to minorities, but there is nothing stopping them from allowing POC to audition for the more complex roles. If they are only offering roles to the same dozen (white) actors then nothing will change. People can’t show their capabilities or rise to the challenge if they are not given the opportunity.

      • lucy2 says:

        Goes back to what Viola Davis said, the only the separating women of color from everyone else is opportunity.

        Speaking of Viola, Aisha Tyler did an hour long podcast interview with her that was amazing. Well worth the listen.

    • madly says:

      Or they can open the roles up for everyone to audition for and let the best actor win.

  12. Jen43 says:

    Kerry’s character is based on a real person. I would have liked to see a network try and cast a white woman in that role. Hollywood seems even worse than corporate America with regard to racism, sexism, etc. I feel sorry for anyone without connections trying to carve out a career there .

    • madly says:

      I remember a casting director said they couldn’t cast an actress for branding stuff because of how dark her skin was. This casting director was quoted by name in Rolling Stone and nothing came of it. If someone in another industry had said the same thing about say a sales role, they would have been fired for discrimination. Hollywood seems to be allowed to operate under different rules with immunity and it isn’t right.

  13. madly says:

    Hollywood is so far behind the times when it comes to diversity and Inclusion. You have other industries who spend millions of dollars trying to create a more equal hiring field in other industries. They still have a long way to go, but they are actually addressing the problem. Intel has spend $500 million dollars trying to address the lack of diversity in STEM. These other companies and industries get audited if federal contractors to make sure their hiring, compensation, promotions, and terminations are all abiding by federal regulations. Every company over a certain amount of people has to abide by federal laws regarding pay and hiring practices where you can’t make hiring determinations based on race, gender, etc. Yet you have Hollywood where their casting practice, which is a hiring practice, is systemically biased against minorities. Casting directors openly talk about that 80% of all casting happens the moment you walk into a room. That inherently disadvantages minority actors. Why not open up the casting process to a wider selection of actors regardless of race, and not make any determination until the actor has a chance to read for the role? Let the best actor win the part, regardless of what they look like or their race. That is how you diversify your casts, not these token characters Kerry Washington is referring to.

    I hate how Hollywood gets away with this stuff and even groups that are on the watch for diversity turn a blind eye. I was so happy when #Oscarssowhite started, but honestly, the Oscars aren’t doing enough to address it. If they really wanted to make a change, they would say that only films that had a more inclusive process of hiring in front of and behind the camera could be considered for a nomination and actually specify what that process looks like. And since this industry is obsessed with Oscars, that would really make people take notice and do something about it. This changing of their internal demographics is a good start, but doesn’t fully address the problem as they have a culture of exclusivity and have prided themselves on that for years. That culture has lended itself to discriminatory practices that has spanned decades. That culture change doesn’t happen overnight. They also need to make sure that their members go through some kind of diversity awareness training so they can educate their members more fully on the issue and how to work to solve it. I would also say that directors, producers, and the like should also go through some cultural competency training because the hiring of more minorities and women isn’t enough, it also matters how they are treated once they are there.

    Stepping off my soapbox now.

    • Brittney B. says:

      You’re so right, madly. Racism and sexism are rampant in other industries too, but at least there are rules and regulations and fireable offenses.

      No wonder Hollywood is the land of Westerns and now superhero movies… they love lawlessness, lack of accountability, and making their own rules.

  14. Michelle says:

    Almond Joy, Lak and QQ…thank you!

  15. MylaRoma says:

    Talking of minorities, hardly have I ever seen a Native American hired or their culture protrayed accurately in movies and dramas. Mostly if u check or google Indian American actors,it is of those with filmsy percentage of Native Indian ancestry. Can someone please mention any actor or actress of pure Native Indian ancestry with accolades in Hollywood.

    • Jen43 says:

      You mean like Johnny Depp? Ugh.

    • lucy2 says:

      Wikipedia has a list but it isn’t long.
      Did you ever read the accounts of that horrid Adam Sandler film, and how several of the Native American actors and extras walked off set because of the offensive material? That shouldn’t be all there is for those actors. It’s a crime.

    • Mattie says:

      The only one that comes to mind in Adam Beach from Law & Order SVU

  16. Dee says:

    Well if you can’t give what you’re asked to potray, who cares? Next…

    • Almondjoy says:

      How dismissive of you. Neither Kerry nor Aziz is saying they they can’t give what they’re asked to portray. The point is that as a black woman and an Indian man they are asked the portray the SAME EXACT CHARACTER every single time as if people of color aren’t complex humans with variation while their white counterparts get to play a range of characters. Is this hard to understand???

    • Lisa says:

      I didn’t want to tell you to f off, but… I think you should f off.

  17. AnitaCocktail says:

    Kerry Washington is such a class act. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting/assisting her a couple times at the airline I work for. She is such a nice person and insanely beautiful.

  18. Turtle says:

    Back when “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” was blowing up, a gay actor friend who can fix or build anything got TONS of auditions for copycat shows and roles on existing shows who wanted to “Queer Eye” their cast. At least half-a-dozen times, he would come back from the audition depressed because they kept telling him to be MORE over-the-top, more swishy, to shriek and flap his wrists, etc. (literally, he was told to add more “girlfriend” and “bitch” to his speech patterns and to flap his wrists). As Kerry says, they didn’t want to evaluate HIM specifically, they wanted to see if he would fit a very narrow stereotype. Oh, Hollywood…

  19. MAnthony says:

    There’s a 80′ or 90′s movie by Robert Townshend called “HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE” that nails what Kerry Washington is talking about. It was a hilarious skit type of movie and one of them had to do with “Black Acting School”–Check it out if you can find it

  20. Lisa says:

    Damn, Hollywood.

  21. Goodnight says:

    It seems like in that respect you can’t win if you’re black.

    If your behaviour is in any way reflective of the warped image of ‘black culture’ TV and movies portray you’re ratchet and hood.

    If you’re well-spoken or well-educated and don’t exhibit any behaviour that could be construed as being ‘typically black’ then people are incredibly condescending and congratulate you on not being a stereotype.

    There’s nothing wrong with complimenting a person on having an excellent vocabulary or being professional or admiring their education when it comes from a place of genuine respect, but it’s the way it’s done, with the implication that you’re somehow less black (or more white) because of it that’s the problem. It must be incredibly insulting when people congratulate you on those things because of your race.