Juliette Farley, whose mother is white and father is African American, said in a recent interview about her Mulatto Saga film series that she created it to fill a void. Not the one everyone's heard about (and with which we'd be hard pressed to find anyone to challenge) about high-quality roles for black actresses generally. Rather, she said, "There's a lack of roles in Hollywood for biracial women. So I create my own content that I star in, and in the process I create work for other actors of all races, genders and nationalities."
We wonder whether she's heard of Halle Berry. What about Stacey Dash? Paula Patton? Maya Rudolph? Thandi Newton? Jennifer Beals?
When you think about these examples, "overworked" (in a good way) seems a more appropriate word choice than "overlooked."
Juliette's certainly entitled to her perspective, and more power to her for creating the types of roles she'd like to play. But somehow The Help star Viola Davis' comments about her acting opportunities (or lack thereof) resonate just a bit more with those of us watching from the outside. She said in an interview with NPR last year:
"I can go into an audition with my makeup and my hair and my lashes and come out with these roles that you say I have. Which goes into the area of perception, and how people perceive black women of a certain hue, and when I say certain hue, I mean black women who are darker than a paper bag. And I'm a dark-skinned black woman who is 46 years old. And I don't know about you, but when I go to see movies, I don't see a lot of women like me in glamorous roles. Not in any mainstream movies, and inevitably when I say that, people mention one person — but usually just one. I don't see a lot of narratives written … where a woman who looks like me gets to be beautiful and sexualized and upwardly mobile, middle-class, funny, quirky. They're very seldom written.
Fairley's first two short films, Mulatto Saga and Juliette Fairley's Mulatto's Dilemma, will be followed by a third film titled Juliette Fairley's Diary of a Mulatto Bride, IndieWire reports.
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