Colorism in Hollywood continues to be a problem for black community

Brea Jones/Staff Writer

For decades, one huge problem has plagued the African American community and has yet to be resolved: colorism.

To give some context, colorism is when people within one race discriminate each other based on the shade of a person’s skin. The lighter your skin color is, the more desirable and beautiful you are in the public eye.

And unfortunately, those unwritten rules apply to the African American community.

This problem is furthered by today’s television shows and movies. There’s a lack of effort in Hollywood to cast darker-skinned black women, resulting in a lack of representation.

There are black actresses, like Zendaya, who use their platform to speak about colorism and how their skin color gives them opportunities that may not be available to darker women.

On many different occasions, Zendaya has been applauded for openly speaking about how her light-skinned privilege opened doors for her — one of which includes producing one of the Disney shows she starred in.

The main issue is that colorism has been discussed and debated countlessly but a true solution has never been proposed. More representation through movies, commercials, and TV shows would greatly improve the issue of colorism.

Representation matters, and it’s becoming a proven fact with every artistic medium that implements diversity in skin color in their narratives. 

This is demonstrated in TV shows and movies, such as “Black Panther,” “Blackish,” and the Netflix show “On My Block.” These shows truly inspire people of color to see themselves as something different and positive, and include a wide span of skin colors.

Apart from giving black actors the typical outdated role of the ‘eccentric black best friend’ or the villian in movies and TV shows, Hollywood script writers need to start casting darker-skinned black actors in their movies.

Black actors and actresses, in turn, need to take a stand and stop settling for these roles.

By including diversity and representation, people will create a different mindset about themselves and others, leading to self-acceptance and the end of colorism. 



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash.

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