Yara Shahidi Under Fire for Her Response to Being Challenged About Colorism on ‘Grown-ish’

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Yara Shahidi’s ‘Grown-ish’ debuted in January. (Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images)

As “Grown-ish” continues to tackle issues of college life, one thing many viewers have continued to point out is the lack of dark-skinned actors on the series.

The Freeform series, which is focused mostly on Black students at the fictional Cal U, came under heavy criticism when Twitter user @_nyluh highlighted her frustration with casting.

“I’ve been waiting on @YaraShahidi or any of the other cast members to address the fact that grown-ish has no dark-skinned people, the one dark-skinned woman they showed, what’s his name used her as a prop to show Luca that he didn’t have a type🙂.”

The result was her getting blocked by lead actress Yara Shahidi.

And many Twitter users were not here for it.

“Very disappointed that @YaraShahidi who I’ve always respected and admired is blocking people for urging her to discuss colorism on ‘Grown-ish’ :/,” one person said. “@YaraShahidi has demonstrated an interest in using platforms for social change so it would be nice if she was willing to acknowledge the flaws in the platform she’s utilizing.”

“Miss Yara Shahidi is presenting herself as some modern-day academic Jamila Baldwin like she’s radical and political but can’t even use her own privilege to combat the colorism on her own show,” somone else said, “HEARD. JU. Loud and clear.”

The star, who plays Zoey on the “Black-ish” spin-off, also responded to some of her detractors.

Several slammed the star for banishing criticism.

“Why is questioning a supposed Black advocate about their lack of representation for dark-skinned Black women negativity?” someone tweeted. “That girl wasn’t being negative at all. And tbh Wakanda had WAYYYY more dark-skinned Black women than ‘Grown-ish’ will ever.”

“The thread was about colorism. So why block her?” a Twitter user asked. “Especially when you just said you’re open to conversation about it. There was nothing disrespectful about the original tweet or the thread. So I’m not sure why you would be upset about being tagged in it. This isn’t adding up.”

Even still, not everyone had an issue with Shahidi.

“Is that Yara’s fault though, or Kenya Barris’s?” one person asked. “Like, how much responsibility for the shortcomings of the show do we place on the actors? Legitimately asking, no shade intended.”

“She doesn’t have to listen to anyone much less look at negative comments on a platform she’s voluntarily on,” another said. “Everyone sounds so entitled and thirsty for attention. They don’t tag the producer or writers because they want attention from the star, all about attention.”

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