Celebrated actress Thandiwe Newton has gone through major change within her life and career in recent years, most prominently after revealing last year that her name was being spelled wrong for decades as “Thandie.”
In a continuing trend to be open and honest, Thandiwe expressed an internalized guilt she’s felt as an A-list Black actress in Hollywood with lighter skin that admittedly has been shown privilege compared to her dark-skinned counterparts.
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While speaking with Sky News to promote her new film God’s Country, which deals with racial tensions in the rural mountains of Montana, Newton took an emotional turn as she began addressing the prejudice she’s received over the years for her skin tone. “I now realize that my internalized prejudice was stopping me from feeling like I could play this role,” she said candidly, going on to add, “when it’s precisely that prejudice that I’ve received — it doesn’t matter that it’s from African American women more than anyone else — I received prejudice. Anyone who’s received oppression and prejudice feels this character.”
Things got tearful as she spoke on feeling apologetic for winning roles, and even men, over dark-skinned women because of her complexion. Take a look below to read her full quote:
“I’ve wanted so desperately to apologize every day to darker-skinned actresses. To say, ‘I’m sorry that I’m the one chosen.’ My Mama looks like you.
It’s been very painful to have women who 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.”
She elaborated by going deeper into her theory, finishing her statement by adding, “I do think that any women of color – whether they’re pale or whatever, who’ve managed to help other actors get into this business, we matter. Whenever they say that Black women have watched the movie, and its really really really mattered to them, I just thank God that my light skin didn’t stop that from happening. I’m so glad that it didn’t cause more pain.”
Thandiwe hasn’t exactly gotten the support from the Black community that she might’ve hoped for, with some Black women on social media seeing her claim of “taking their men” as confusing being that she’s been married to Ol Parker, a white British film director, since 1998.
Take a look below at the video and let us know if you can understand where she’s coming from or if you’re having issues with her race theory like everybody else: