Yara Shahidi Encourages ‘Grown-ish’ Producers to ‘Cast Actors with a Wider Array of Skin Tones’

In a matter of weeks, “Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi will be heading to Harvard as a freshman, and she talked about it during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Besides that, she spoke of activism and accused the media of not delivering the news in a way that young people can relate to.

Yara Shahidi Talks Colorism


Plus, the actress talked about colorism and said she urged “Grown-ish” producers to “cast actors with a wider array of skin tones.”

This was after some viewers complained that the series didn’t have dark-skinned characters.

“I noticed the lack of dark-skinned women and tweeted my thoughts to reflect my disappointment,” wrote the blogger Wanna. “Despite this, I still held onto hope that [show creator Kenya] Barris and company would display a wider range of skin tones included in the main cast. However, as the premiere neared its deadline, that reassurance never came.”

“Grown-ish” even addressed the issue of colorism during an episode, but it didn’t quell the negative feedback.

“Full shade but what was the point of that colorism episode of ‘Grown-ish’ when their entire cast is light skin people?” someone tweeted. “You gon’ cast dark-skinned people anytime soon?”

During an interview with Essence, Shahidi responded to the backlash but hasn’t brought it up again until now.

In regards to the 18-year-old attending college as a celebrity, she said the transition isn’t going to be as difficult as some may think.

She also talked about her ongoing activism and said despite her age group having a reputation of being self-absorbed, they’re actually socially engaged.

“The thing people don’t fully understand about my generation is just how multifaceted we are,” Shahidi explained. “Often times, people like to oversimplify what [we] believe in or do, whether that’s ‘Oh, you’re on your phones all the time’ or ‘Oh, you’re very self-centered,’ but what I’ve seen from my peers is that we’re socially engaged and curious about the world.”

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