At a panel at South By Southwest this weekend, singer Kelly Rowland told the audience about the importance of dark-skinned women’s representation in Hollywood.
The former member of Destiny’s Child told visitors at the festival, which celebrates film, music and interactive media, that she’s looking to give those who look like her representation in her new reality show.
In response to a question about Rowland’s views on whiteness in the entertainment industry, the singer said, “One of the things I looked for first was chocolate girls because I feel it’s so necessary for my niece … she has to see more chocolate women,” according to International Business Times.
It’s fitting that the singer wants to see more dark-skinned women in her field. And with the likes of Shonda Rhimes introducing characters who are both complex and melanin proficient, we see good representation on television. Now, with Rowland’s show “Chasing Destiny,” produced for Black Entertainment Television, the “Motivation” singer aims to represent all colors – light and dark alike.
Beyond colorism issues, Rowland and BET president of show programming Stephen Hill spoke about the show and why it needs to exist — girl groups are lacking portrayal in the media. Referencing pop group Fifth Harmony, which boasts only one Black, dark-skinned singer, and U.K. import group Little Mix, Rowland is clear that she disapproves of the small showing.
“Two girl groups? Get outta here. That is not enough,” said Rowland, according to The Guardian.
“Chasing Destiny” will be all about female empowerment. According to The Guardian, the show is set to ditch the traditional elimination rounds and support the women writing and performing their own work, as well as promoting inclusion across color lines, according to The Guardian. Rowland is clear that she wants each of the contestants to embrace the classic presentation of songs, like Whitney Houston before them.
“We’re missing ballads on the radio – we’ve just got Drake singing to us about things we already know – we know we’re cute!”