PLEASE NOTE: This article has been re-written to reflect an error in reporting in the previous article on Priyanka Chopra. That error is on myself as the writer of that post, and has been corrected. Apologies if this has caused any confusion and questions.
In a recent interview with Instyle magazine, South Asian actress and lead star in ABC TV series Quantico, PRIYANKA CHOPRA opened up about colorism and how she lost a role because she had the wrong skin color. To be honest, hearing about this, I am not surprised because the racism which involves colorism is a big one. Before I get into the crux of this piece, I do wish to add that colorism is not only an issue in Hollywood and mainstream Western society film and TV. In Asia there is huge discrimination against other Asians or other people who have brown or darker skin. The industries for skin whitening products saturate the markets with everyone in the race to have lighter skin. So with that in mind, I can agree with Chopra’s sentiments and she actually has an experience of this.
As the first South Asian actor to headline a prime time show in the USA, Chopra is not free from the racism and discrimination. She tells Instyle about how she was passed for a role in a movie due to her brown skin. This is what she said (via Today):
“I was out for a movie, and somebody (from the studio) called one of my agents and said, ‘She’s the wrong — what word did they use? — ‘physicality.’ So in my defense as an actor, I’m like, ‘Do I need to be skinnier? Do I need to get in shape? Do I need to have abs?’ Like, what does ‘wrong physicality’ mean?”
“And then my agent broke it down for me. Like, ‘I think, Priy, they meant that they wanted someone who’s not brown.’ It affected me.”
The thing about Chopra is that she is not “fresh” in terms of being an actor. She has had an extremely successful career in Bollywood, so it makes you wonder why did she get passed over for a role all because she is in the wrong skin color? I like Chopra’s tenacity and courage to open up this discussion and to share her own experiences so that the rest of us can learn and understand the impact of colorism. She continues:
“I want to see the day where female-led movies get as much of a run as the boys do, which means the ticket-buying audience needs to be open to that,”
“People don’t go watch females in movies because they don’t believe that they can be heroes. The world has to change the way they look at their heroes.”
After reading more about what she has said, it has encouraged me to follow her career even more. I will leave it here.
Images via Today
To read the original article, please click on: Priyanka Chopra opens up about losing role because of her skin color