It comes as no surprise that we’re still living in a society where people are discriminated against due to their race. While we have read many heartbreaking accounts of racism in the showbiz industry, here are 5 actors who lost movie roles due to their color and 5 who were on the other side of the fence:
Viola Davis – Lost a role
Pretty vocal about the racism that she has encountered in the industry, Viola Davis says her career trajectory would’ve been totally different had she been five shades lighter. She quoted that she’s always been subject to stereotypical roles.
In Mighty Heart, Angelina Jolie played the kidnapped wife of journalist Daniel Pearl who was a French-born woman of Afro-Cuban descent. To fit in the role, she had to darken her skin and change her hair.
Brenda Song – Lost a role
Brenda Song was apparently barred from auditioning for Crazy Rich Asians because she didn’t look “Asian enough” according to them. Brenda said that disheartened her heavily.
In Aloha, Emma Stone portrayed a woman of Chinese and Hawaiian descent. She says she has the deepest regrets for signing that role and whitewashing is a major problem in Hollywood.
Salma Hayek – Lost a Role
Salma Hayek talked about the racial discrimination that she has faced in Hollywood being a Mexican-American on The Drew Barrymore Show. A studio executive once told her that she was born on the wrong side of the border and no matter how pretty she is, every time she opens her mouth people are reminded of their maids.
When Jake played Dastan in Disney’s Prince Of Persia, many people started to question why the role wasn’t offered to someone of Iranian descent. Jake acknowledged the problematic casting and said he has since become more thoughtful before signing a role.
Gemma Chan – Lost a role
Gemma Chan has been hearing a lot from casting directors that she’s either “Too Asian” or “Not Asian enough” for a role. She’d lose out on ethnic auditions after they would hear her English accent.
Rooney Mara laments about playing Tiger Lily, the Native American in Pan. She said she has the deepest regrets for being on the whitewashing side of the conversation and the backlash she received was totally justified.
Eva Longoria – Lost a role
At the beginning of her career, Eva Longoria was told by casting directors that she didn’t look “Latin” enough. They would tell her that she lacked accent and needed to be of darker skin color.
When Rob Schneider played an “Asian Minister” in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, the actor angered a lot of people. Being a Filippino himself, Rob had to yellowface his look, wear buck teeth, and thick glasses, and talked in a mocking accent.