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.”
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.
DENZEL WASHINGTON IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
A BLACK MAN BELIEVES THAT
EXAMINING WHAT IS HAPPENING TO BLACK PEOPLE
EXAMINING AT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO BLACK MEN ONLY
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.
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