In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar, famed actress Gabrielle Union offered her candor about the downside to being a black female in a Hollywood arena that is still marred with its fair share of inequalities.
Hollywood is organically no different than any other division within the American business world. There are issues concerning cultural diversity, unequal pay, and a white male-dominated power structure that is reluctant to offer certain levels of opportunity to racial minorities.
Union did more for Harper’s Bazaar than offer some exquisite photo opportunities. The 44-year-old big screen veteran gave her brand of straight talk when it came to certain issues concerning the preferential treatment in Hollywood that black women are on the opposite end of. She definitely didn’t pull any punches.
“When do you stand up and point out every micro-aggression, and when do you stand down so you’re not the angry black person all the time? It’s tiring. It feels like another job that you’re not getting paid for—that is all encompassing,” Union said in her exclusive interview.
She also addressed the issue of the $exual assault against women, which is a cause she is deeply involved in from the advocacy standpoint. Union (who herself is a $exual assault survivor) was recently touched by this issue as she played the role of a woman who was violated in film maker/actor Nate Parker’s “Birth of Nation.”
She found herself in an awkward position when it was revealed that Parker himself had been acquitted of $exual assault charges by a woman who later committed suicide. Union vehemently denied having knowledge of Parker’s past prior to agreeing to be in the film.
“I think what I was left with-aside from it not changing how [white]people feel about blackness, is also how we look at sexual assault,” Union said.
Union also didn’t hesitate to call out her caucasian female counterparts in Hollywood for their “white girl privilege.” She has already talked to Lena Dunham about this issue and claimed to have had a productive dialogue. However, she shared her desire to have a similar conversation with Amy Schumer and Kate Upon.
Upton posted a scathing social media message criticizing NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his silent protests of racial injustice before his scheduled professional football games.
“[I’d like to] help to explain the oppressive systems that have benefited and allowed [white women in Hollywood] to say these careless, insensitive and offensive things,” Union added.
Apparently there is still a long way to go in the road toward racial equality in an industry that likes to trick us into thinking that more progress has been made than meets the eye.