In the wake of race-related shooting incidents across the US, actress Gabourey Sidibe reveals she’s a target for racist comments online.
“As a black actress, I have a few social media accounts and every single day I deal with racist comments,” the Oscar-nominated actress tells People magazine. “Not a day goes by that I don’t have to block someone from calling me a fat n*****,” the “Empire” actress reveals. “So I have to say, I’m not surprised by some of those bad reactions [to what happened last week].”
The 33-year-old actress disclosed that she received a wave of backlash online after addressing the murder of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police.
“I tweeted something about it and I just said, ‘Who’s going to be next?’ And I said, ‘I’m scared,’ ” she recalls. “And the amount of hate I got… I mean, I once tweeted that I was watching ‘Roots’, and I can’t tell you how many people I had to block.”
“There is a long, long way to go and it breaks my heart. I’m scared. I’m not just scared for myself, I’m scared for my family, I’m scared for everyone,” she adds. “What I realized, the only difference between the world that I live in and the world my mom grew up in – my mother was born in 1952 – is that we have cell phones,” the actress says, referring to the Castile and Sterling shootings, and Dallas shootings that have all been captured and shared online. “We have cell phones and we have documented proof that there’s no real difference.”
Despite the comments she receives online, Sidibe is hopeful for the future and those striving to make a change through support and activism.
“I have to say, I am just so proud to know all of these people that are standing up – not just black people, but white people, anyone who has a heart really,” she says. “I don’t base any of my friendships or my loves on colour, I base it on people,” she adds, “and I am so glad for the insane amount of people that show support.”
“I am so grateful for the people that are making a change, DeRay [McKesson], Johnetta [Elzie], we have so many soldiers fighting for us on the field thankfully,” she concludes.