Thursday, December 29, 2016


According to BOSSIP Denzel Washington said, 
Asked if colorism holds dark-skinned actors and actresses back in show business, Denzel replies, “One of the best roles for a woman of any color in the last, in a good while or at least any movie that I’ve been in, a dark-skinned woman has in this film. So as long as you’re being lead by outside forces or just being reactionary then you won’t move forward. You have to continue to get better.”

“You can say, ‘Oh I didn’t get the part because they gave it to the light-skinned girl, or you can work, and one day, it might take twenty years, and you can be Viola.” He continues, “The easiest thing to do is to blame someone else, the system. Yeah, well, there’s a possibility, maybe, that you’re not good enough, but it’s easy to say it’s someone else’s fault. But there’s a possibility that you’re not ready and you can still blame it on someone else instead of getting ready.”

In 2012, 9 out of 12 of the wealthiest black actresses (the ones that work the most) could pass a paperbag test in the dark. The only reason that may NOT be true right now is because of black women like Shonda Rhimes and Ava DuVernay giving dark-skinned black actresses work -- not due to black male directors and producers.

If Viola hadn't been given high visibility, opportunity to win acting awards, Denzel would have wound up with Paula Patton cast as his love interest...again. 


Colorism's affect on black women is many multiples larger than it's affect on black men because a woman's worth is still connected to beauty in this society. And since white beauty aesthetic is the standard, light-skinned actresses get more work.

Viola Davis is probably 10x the actress Vanessa Williams is -- but Vanessa's networth is many multiples of Viola Davis's because she's light.  Angela Bassett's networth is much less than Halle Berry's and she's definitely the better actress.

If Washington had thought critically about how colorism affects black women just one time he wouldn't have essentially said,
"I'm not going to look around and see the pattern of what's happening to my sisters. The only black woman I care about is my wife. And when somebody questions me on colorism I'm going to think and talk like a white man who says racism is over because ONE black man got to be president."
He even added his OLD RICH-MAN-ITIS (MERITOCRACY BELIEF plus ARROGANCE) In a very Cosby-eske type manner he is saying,
"I made it, why can't you?"  

It is my firm belief that rocket scientists can brag about hard work paying off. But actors? Even without the racism and sexism, hard work and talent have to combine with luck at some point. I'm never going to find the words "I made it, why can't you?" between the lines and do anything but sneer. But a freaking actor? Come on! If there's another career more dependent on luck than actor, I can't think of it right now. There are people working in restaurants with more talent Meryl Streep who will simply never be in the right place at the right time.
And some of those more talented, harder working people are black women who are too dark.

Clearly, Washington does not understand just who it is that's been holding him up all these years. It's black women, by the way. And I think black women have been holding him high because he's one of the few black men in hollywood that has a black wife that looks black. I wouldn't have guessed that he would say something this ridiculous, but the handwriting was probably on the wall as far as him NOT-SEEING black women.
Reading between the lines of his entire career, you can see it. With the exception of maybe Jurnee Smollet as near as I can tell he did not use his power to advance one black woman in a 30 year career -- and I love her, but she's a paperbag passer.
Furthermore, the women's roles in most of the movies that he CHOOSES to be in as an actor OFTEN suck so bad I am usually glad black actresses weren't in them by the time I get to the end. I guess I don't have to wonder why anymore.
You know what's worse though? I think Spike Lee has advanced more white women's careers than he has light women's careers.
I was looking at all of Spike's movies, the first 3 or 4 actors billed in each of his movies (people with real speaking roles) and there were a lot more white women than I remember. Sometimes I went deeper than the top 3 or 4 actors to get to ANY woman at all. Other than his sister, the women were light and white a lot

You know why a lot of black men can't see colorism? It's just like white people who can't see their own white supremacy and white choices. It's just so normal to them. Despite being discriminated against based on race, black men willfully do not see their male supremacy and their male choices of lightness and whiteness both.
I just recently saw two photo collages online. One was of black actors and athletes married to white women. Another was of black actors married to black women. If you were to put both collages together I'm guessing 3/4s of the women were light or white. But I'm confused as to why young black girls are looking for long straight weaves and bleaching creams, aren't you? (Yeah. I'm being sarcastic) However, I'm not confused about Denzel's attitude. It's common as dirt among black men with power in Hollywood. We all know white racism informs colorism. Now you know sexism informs colorism too. There's no way Washington would have said this if he had the slightest notion of the problems that black women face. Again, it's particularly galling that the one dark-skinned black woman he named probably wouldn't have been on his radar at all if it hadn't been for another black woman, Rhimes, who appears to see colorism just fine--- which is why she works on dismantling it.
Sexism - Colorism - Racism. Their enablers all think the same way.