Tia recently used the Nov. 6 episode of her newest web series, “Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix,” to open up about her experience growing up in Hollywood and the obstacles she faced. The actress-turned-lifestyle-guru discussed how she dealt with racism, pay inequalities, and even being told that she wasn’t Black enough for certain roles.
“It was very evident to me when I would walk on sets and see how certain stars or actors would be treated who weren’t of ethnicity — better dressing room, better trailer,” the actress recalled. “Now I’m like, more aware what that was, which is a budget, but back then I didn’t know what a budget was. It was so clear how you would see one show that didn’t have a diverse cast that just had a bigger budget, so everything just seemed bigger and better. But when it came to my projects and what I was doing, you actually really visually saw the less-than.”
The “Twitches” star said she also saw a difference in pay while she and her twin sister filmed “Sister, Sister,” saying they were shorted despite being the show’s leads. “I remember once the show became a hit, it’s very normal for you to ask for a raise. That’s what happens, right? People get raises. But it was always so hard for my sister and I to get what we felt like we deserved, and our paycheck never equaled our counterparts’ that weren’t of diversity, and that was frustrating. Very, very frustrating.”
At one point, she says, even her blackness was questioned, and it even caused her and her sister to miss out on certain gigs, telling People, “I’ve been told I’m not Black enough, which was very odd and weird to me.” She added, “You don’t look Black enough. I think you would fit more of the Latino role.’ It’s like, what? These were casting directors who did not understand the different shades of Black culture.”
During a previous interview with Entertainment Tonight, the 42-year-old recalled a time when she claims they were denied a magazine cover at the height of their career. At the time, Hardrict said, “So my sister [Tamera] and I wanted to be on the cover of this very popular [teenage] magazine at the time. We were told that we couldn’t be on the cover of the magazine because we were Black and we would not sell.” She added, “I will never forget that. I will never forget where I was, and I wish I would have spoken up. I wish I would have said something then. I wish I would have had the courage to speak out and say that wasn’t right.”
Still, despite the ups and downs, the Hollywood vet said her experience was the driving force behind her success. “How I was treated is why I built my work ethic,” she said. “Nothing came easy to me. I always had to work harder than. I’ve always had to be better than average. And I guess if I didn’t go through what I had gone through or if I didn’t see what I had seen when I was a child, I don’t think I would be where I am today, which is a hard freaking worker. Because guess what? It’s hard to outwork someone.”
Check out the clip from the series below.