Tyrese Gibson is calling out Hollywood over what he describes as “colourism.”
Speaking with interviewer Leah A. Henry of “Leah’s Lemonade”, he recalled losing out on roles, often to a very specific actor.
“Terrence Howard has no idea how many roles that I was about to book and they went with him because he’s the lighter-skinned Black man with the green eyes,” Gibson said.
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“It’s crazy to me, like, I’m No. 1. I’m the star,” he added. “I’m this blue-black, you know, all of the things that I was laughed about in the ‘hood.”
However, he said that he’s also noticing “this shift that has happened. I think we should all stay humble because it’s interesting how white people created this kind of colourism. The mixed-race gets to be in the house and the black Blacks get to work in the hot sun and pick cotton.”
As he explained, that hasn’t been something that he’s just experienced in Hollywood. “Throughout my whole childhood, it was not cool to be dark skin in the hood,” he said. “It was always the light-skinned Black people that seemed to have gotten all the attention and all the love and considered pretty, or attractive, or handsome. And since I’ve been in Hollywood we dealt with the same thing.”
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Despite Howard’s propensity to be cast in roles Gibson has pursued, he insisted there are no hard feelings.
“We’re able to joke about it now. I was the star of the film. They had an idea to go with someone else, who I won’t mention, and then I suggested Terrence Howard,” Gibson said. “And he thanked me for like, a week straight.”