It's hard to believe that anyone would ever turn down Kerry Washington for a role, but it happens to actors all the time.
Washington revealed in Variety's "Actors on Actors" series that prior to landing the lead in the hit show Scandal, she was cast in two pilots but was fired and recast before they went to series because "they wanted me to sound more ‘girlfriend,’ more like ‘hood,’ more ‘urban."
Hollywood has always struggled with diversity and stereotypes, so this isn't surprising.
However, it's still disappointing that these stereotypes still exist and that actors are punished for not fitting a certain image.
And, the racial stereotypes aren't the only clichés being pushed in Hollywood. Washington added that friends have told her about their experiences with casting.
"I’ve had friends of mine say like they’re tired of ‘gayface’ and I was like, ‘What’s gayface?’ They were like, ‘It’s the gay version of blackface, like come in and be more effeminate."
Fortunately, Washington is now in a position to change all that and can now create work that breaks stereotypes.
"I definitely feel like I’m at that point where it’s nice to not have to sit at home and wait to be invited to the party, but to be creating work for yourself."
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.