Uzo Aduba is opening up about her brush with racial discrimination.
The “Orange Is The New Black” star sat down with Haute Living Los Angeles where she got candid about the Black Lives Movement and how she was once wrongly accused by police officers.
“I was taken aback. I was backing up slowly because I thought I was about to get raped, mugged, killed,” she recalled about being approached by plainclothes New York City policemen. “My instinct was to run. I wasn’t really interested in taking that encounter lying down, so to speak… I remember thinking I did not want to have my dignity taken from me that day.
Aduba went on to reveal that she felt lucky to have survived the incident, but refused to let the shocking incident break her spirit. Instead, she urged America to hold conversations that propel the nation toward positive change. “I walked away from that situation with my life, but I was also keenly aware that this was the first time that this had ever happened to me.”
She continued, “It makes me ask where we’re going as a culture. I think we, as a country, need to prepare ourselves to address the state of things. We need to acknowledge the very hard truth of where we are, and to really begin to have conversations and do the hard work of progressing ourselves forward into what we aspire to be.
The actress went on to praise OITNB writer Jenji Kohan for her foresight and willingness to address social issues on the show. “We’re watching on our show what is happening right now in our world. We didn’t shoot this yesterday; we shot it a year ago,” she says. “[Jenji Kohan] is someone who knows where we are as a society and wants to address it in such a magnificent way.”