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‘We’re Able to Joke About It Now’: Tyrese Claims He Lost Out on Roles Because of His Skin Tone, Says Directors Often Went with Terrence Howard

Fans have been swooning over Tyrese Gibson‘s great looks ever since the “Fast and Furious” franchise star made his debut in the entertainment world with his feature in a 1994 Coca-Cola commercial singing the phrase “Always Coca-Cola.” That role landed him more appearances in other advertisements for brands like Tommy Hilfiger, ultimately placing his impressive physique on full display.

However, the “Baby Boy” star recently revealed that his appearance didn’t always win over Hollywood executives despite being a massive hit with the ladies. The actor claimed his skin tone often caused him to miss out on roles throughout his career.

Tyrese Gibson (L) claims Terrence Howard (R) got roles over him because of his complexion. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative)

During a discussion with Leah A. Henry of “Leah’s Lemonade,” the 42-year-old claimed that actor Terrence Howard would often book roles over him because of his fairer tone and being thought to be more attractive than the “Waist Deep” star. 

“Throughout my whole childhood, it was not cool to be dark-skin in the ’hood,” said the actor. “It was always the light-skinned Black people that seemed to have gotten all the attention and all the love and considered pretty, attractive, or handsome. And since I’ve been in Hollywood, we dealt with the same thing.”

“I just did a film with Terrence Howard — we’re able to joke about it now — but I was the star of the film, and they had an idea to go with someone else, who I won’t mention, and then I suggested Terrence Howard. And he thanked me for, like, a week straight.” He added, “Terrence Howard has no idea how many roles that I was about to book, and they went with him because he’s the lighter-skinned Black man with the green eyes.” The actor later called out actresses Lupita Nyong’o and Viola Davis for their efforts in creating a “shift” in that narrative. 

Tyrese has often spoken about his complexion and how he “used to be so ashamed” of his skin tone. However, that has since changed. Recently the star took to his Instagram page, where he took the time out for self-love and acceptance of his “Kings and Queens Skin” in a heartwarming post. Fans were overwhelmed to see the California native finally loving the skin he’s in as India Arie’s “Brown Skin” played in the background.

Howard hasn’t addressed Tyrese’s claims, but be sure to check out the interview down below. 

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