Trending Topics

Amandla Stenberg on Why She Gets Roles Dark-Skinned Stars Do Not

Just because Amandla Stenberg is a member of young Hollywood doesn’t mean she’s not wise enough to know that she has an advantage when it comes to getting work actresses with dark skin do not.

“The Hate U Give” actress acknowledged in an interview with Variety that being biracial and having a light skin tone makes her more primed for roles that the industry wouldn’t typically offer to her dark-skinned contemporaries. As such, Stenberg said she’s usually put in the same group as other light-skinned actresses like “Grown-ish” star Yara Shahidi and “Spider-man: Homecoming” star Zendaya.

amandla stenberg

Amandla Stenberg attends Variety’s annual Power of Young Hollywood at Sunset Tower Hotel on Tuesday, August 28, in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

“Something interesting has happened with me and Yara and Zendaya — there is a level of accessibility of being biracial that has afforded us attention in a way that I don’t think would have been afforded to us otherwise,” the 19-year-old explained. “Me and Yara and Zendaya are perceived in the same way, I guess because we are lighter-skinned Black girls and we fill this interesting place of being accessible to Hollywood and accessible to white people in a way that darker-skinned girls are not afforded the same privilege.”

Her advantage also has allowed her to be more choosy when it comes to the parts she’s willing to take in the industry. And she’s spoken to how she’s been willing to leave certain roles behind to give an advantage to women who are often left in the cold.

In February, Stenberg revealed why she walked away from a role in the blockbuster “Black Panther.”

“One of the most challenging things for me to do was to walk away from ‘Black Panther,’ she disclosed at the TIFF Next Wave Festival. “I got really, really close and they were like, ‘Do you want to continue fighting for this?’ And I was like, ‘This isn’t right.’  These are all dark-skin actors playing Africans, and I feel like it would have just been off to see me as a biracial American with a Nigerian accent just pretending that I’m the same color as everyone else in the movie.”

Meanwhile, fans have given their thoughts on Stenberg’s latest remarks on colorism in Hollywood.

“Amandla honey, now you start caring about colorism meanwhile you’re staring in a movie about falling in love with a Nazi… OK.”

“Fake woke Black girls Twitter hypes up. They all the same to me.”

“So why take the roles of dark-skinned girls Amandla? You acknowledge it, but you still take roles. Hmm. Seems you don’t care that much. @amandlastenberg.”

Back to top