We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.
Home · Celebrity

MTV Star Nicole Byer On Early Auditions: 'I Was Asked To Be As Black As Possible'

The Loosely Exactly Nicole star opens up about casting directors trying to typecast her.

Nicole Byer

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Viacom
By Sydney Scott · August 4, 2016

Nicole Byer has always been open about her experiences as an actress, but during her TCA press tour the actress opened up about some of her worst experiences.

Byer spoke to USA Today about two terrible auditions that she will never forget. 

“I’ve spoken about this before, but I had one audition where the casting director said, ‘I need you to be as black as possible and if you’re too black, I’ll bring you back.’ And I was like, ‘what the [expletive] does that mean? You’ll bring me back?'”

Byer’s audition horror stories shed light on the two-dimensional roles available to black women. 

“I had another experience — and we talk about it in the show — where I audition for a character named Big Butt Bertha. That is a spot-on parody of the name of a character that I had to go out and audition for…and the way they wrote this black woman was like, ‘Where the [expletive] is my money at?’ And it’s like, I can’t. And that’s not to discredit [other black women]. There are black women who sound like that, but I’m not one of them.”

Fortunately, Byer has found a home at MTV, where she can be (hilariously) herself on her upcoming show Loosely Exactly Nicole

“On my show, everyone listens,” she said. “I think as long as you’re having colorful writers’ rooms and everyone’s listening, that’s the key.”

Loosely Exactly Nicole premieres September 5 at 10:30 p.m. on MTV. Check out the trailer below.


WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.