Marsai Martin addressed mixed feelings from fans over her appearance in Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty showcase Vol. 4. The “black-ish” star appeared alongside Kelly Rowland on Hot 97 to promote their upcoming film, “Fantasy Football,” which premieres on Paramount+ next Friday, Nov. 25.
Nine minutes into the conversation, Martin was asked about the negative criticism she received for walking in the lingerie show. The actress who turned 18 in August wore a soft makeup look and a multi-colored leopard catsuit with peak-a-book cleavage.
“People had a very hard time accepting that you’re grown,” said host Laura Stylez. Martin laughed sarcastically and replied, “Really?”
When asked if she had seen any of the commentary on social media about herself, the 18-year-old said, “Mmhmm…I don’t really care to be completely honest.”
Stylez explained that some fans are still holding on to the image of the 9-year-old girl who made her debut into the entertainment as Diane “Dolly” Johnson on ABC’s hit series “black-ish.”
“I bet, I bet,” added Martin. “I’m just like all of us. We just minding our young, rich, and black business to be honest. Outside opinions don’t really matter to me when I know my path and I know my opportunities and what I’m capable of.”
The “grown-ish” star continued, “I would never put myself in a position for failure any exposure of any kind. I’ve given nothing but grace in any of this and I have amazing parents that are by my side always — protecting me always.”
She reiterated Styles’ assertion that she was not wearing lingerie or “out there trying to show chi chi’s and stuff.”
The “Paw Patrol” voiceover talent realizes most fans who have been watching her on television for the past eight years may feel like they “need to protect them from something.”
“At this point, people are watching me grow, and that’s gon’ be that,” she said proudly. “Like how people gon’ feel when I grow and start having kids and get married and stuff. That’s just what happens.”
Martin described walking in the Savage X Fenty show currently streaming on Amazon Prime as a “great” and “fun” experience. But she didn’t expect to be working such long hours in the process.
“The work hours is crazy though,” she insists. “That was the biggest thing. I got there at 7:30 p.m. and I’m like, ‘okay, its giving dark and cool lights and stuff.’ I didn’t get out of there until the sun came up. So I didn’t get back home until eight o’clock in the morning.”
The “Little” star continued, “That was my first time working those hours since I turned 18, and you know everybody in the business is like, ‘Oh, you turn 18 that’s great, but them hours is gon’ be crazy.’ And that was like the first time I witnessed that.”
Ultimately, the young entertainer said it was “so worth” the wait, adding “When you’re excited about something it kind of doesn’t matter at the end of the day.”
A vast majority of Martin’s fans loved her runway walk on in the iconic fashion show. But others felt she dressed too sexy and accused her of “acting too grown,” as previously reported.
Four months before turning 18, Martin made her last appearance on “black-ish,” which premiered its series finale in April. Fans said farewell to the show created and directed by Kenya Barris after eight fun-filled seasons. “black-ish” touched on real-life topics ranging from social and political issues and the presidential election to colorism, sexuality, Juneteenth and more. The eighth and final season specifically addressed race, systematic racism, police brutality and the global impact of COVID-19.