Actress Thandiwe Newton issued a tearful apology to her fellow black actresses who happen to have darker skin and said that she's "sorry" she is the one chosen to play black roles.
What are the details?
During a new interview to promote her latest film "God's Country," Newton spoke of the dangers and discrimination of colorism.
The 49-year-old English actress — born to a white Englishman father and black Zimbabwean mother — portrays a black professor who confronts two white hunters on her property.
Of taking the role, Newton said, “I now realize that my internalized prejudices were stopping me from feeling like I could play this role.”
“When it’s precisely that prejudice that I’ve received — doesn’t matter that it’s from African-American women more than anyone else. It doesn’t matter," she said. "I received prejudice. Anyone who’s received prejudice feels this character.”
Newton said that she's "wanted to desperately" apologize to darker-skinned actresses every day of her career.
“To say, ‘I’m sorry that I’m the one chosen. My mama looks like you,'” she added, crumbling in emotion and covering her face. “It’s been very painful to have women that look like my mom feel like I’m not representing them. That I’m taking from them. Taking their men, taking their work, taking their truth.”
Newton added that despite her lighter skin, she aims to make a difference for black women in and out of Hollywood.
“I do think that any women of color who — whether they are pale, or whatever — who have managed to help other actors get into this business, we matter,” she insisted, tears running down her face. "Whenever they say that black women have watched the movie, and it’s really, really, really mattered to them, I just thank God that my light skin didn’t stop that from happening ... That it didn’t cause more pain.”
What else is there to know?
Newton recently announced that she'd changed the spelling of her name from Thandie to Thandiwe — its original Zimbabwean spelling.
"That's my name. It's always been my name. I'm taking back what's mine," Newton told British Vogue in April.
It serves to point out that Newton's given first name is actually Melanie.