The new documentary Light Girls has revealed another side to Hollywood—that not only darker-skinned women of color have suffered from discrimination when it comes to getting roles, the Huffington Post reports. In the film, light-skinned black women talk about the colorism they’ve seen, noting the advantages and disadvantages that they can face.
"I see a lot of lighter women deal with colorism, especially in our industry," Hollywood writer and producer Chris Spencer said, according to HuffPo. "They'll have an audition and then they don't get the part. A lot of time—whether it is [true] or not, I'm not sure—they'll say … 'I didn't get it because they wanted to go with someone who looked blacker.' "
Trying to appear either lighter or darker is something a lot of actresses of color worry about. Raven-Symoné, who recently ruffled feathers when she said she did not want to be labeled African American, confided that she was tanning multiple times a week at the time her show That’s So Raven was filming because she desperately wanted to be darker.
"When I had my own show, I used to tan three or four times a week in a tanning bed to get darker," she said. "I did."
However, as it turns out, just because she felt she needed to be darker didn't mean everyone agreed. Her skin got dark enough that an individual involved in the show's production asked her to stop tanning.
"It's funny. One of the lighting guys came up—I love him to death; I love him, oh my goodness—he goes, 'Raven, I need you to stop tanning. You're getting too dark, and we have to relight the whole entire show,' " Raven muses in the documentary. "I was like, 'Sorry. I was just trying to be pretty.' "
"A lot of times, we might be in situations where we want to make sure we cast a dark-skinned girl. So we're passing up the light-skinned sisters because, you know, we don't want to be accused of doing that," producer Ralph Farquhar added. "You might have a very talented actress who's being overlooked because of her complexion."
Read more at the Huffington Post.