Welcome to The Black Affect, a digital storytelling experience where celebrities share a moment they’ve been made aware of their own Blackness.
Comedienne and Netflix Nailed It host, Nicole Byer, is known for her raunchy sense of humor and sky-high self-confidence, but before any of that, she’s a Black woman.
Byer recently shared a few stories on Twitter about dealing with microaggressions of racism. In her tweets, she talked about going to work on set and having a production assistant not believe her when she identified herself and even told her, “I don’t know if you belong here,” while they stood in front of a trailer with her name on it.
She also shared a story about makeup artists on set not having foundation dark enough to match her skin tone and a hairdresser without the proper tools for kinky hair.
4. Having a makeup artist say they are going to contour me but then didn’t even have a color darker than me. So while the other girls got their make up done. I sat in a corner and did my own.
— nicole byer (@nicolebyer) August 3, 2018
We caught up with Byer during a recent visit to the ESSENCE offices and asked her to tell us more about the experiences she’s endured just because she’s a Black woman in showbiz.
“I had a casting director tell me to be Blacker,” Byer shared with ESSENCE. Having no idea what that request even meant, but honestly, knowing exactly what he meant, Nicole continued her audition. “If someone goes, ‘can you be sassier?’ I go, I can be my kind of sassier. I’m not gonna put a voice on. The voice I have is my voice. It feels like I’m trying to be something I’m not.”
Watch the video above for Nicole Byer’s Black Affect.