‘She’s All That’ Star Made A Comeback To Talk About Black Incarceration
Jeffrey Mayer

For many of us, it’s been a while since we’ve seen She’s All That star Rachael Leigh Cook.

The actress, who starred in the classic 1999 film alongside Freddie Prinze Jr, Paul Walker, Gabrielle Union and Usher, has kept a fairly low-profile career since the ’90s. But she’s back to remake a commercial done when she was 18 years old.

“This is your brain, and this is heroine,” her famous 1997 commercial began, which was sponsored by Partnership for a Drug-Free America. At the time, the popularity of the drug was at an all time high, and her grunge look appealed to the young, White demographic being targeted.

Little did middle America know, the rate of Black incarceration was at an all-time high sparked by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that mandated life sentences for criminals convicted of a drug crimes after two or more prior convictions.

On April 20, the Drug Policy Alliance debuted their revamped ad with Cook, but this time with a focus on the disproportionate amount of African-Americans in the prison system for drug-related offenses. 

“This is one of the millions of Americans who uses drugs and won’t get arrested,” Cook says in the opening while holding a white egg. “However, this American is several times more likely to be charged with a drug crime,” she says while hold a brown egg.

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The video continues with Cook narrating an animated video where the brown egg goes through the prison system, comes out and has difficulties assimilating into their community.

“It is gratifying and promising to see the evolution in Rachael Leigh Cook and in the American public over these last 20 years,” said Tony Newman, the director of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance on their website.

“The war on drugs is a disastrous failure that has ruined millions of peoples’ lives, especially people of color. Let’s hope this ad is seen by as many people as the original and inspires folks to end this unwinnable war.”

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