Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Color Under the Lights: Representation in Film


– There’s an alchemy to recognition, when you see yourself and it, something happens,
something chemical happens. It’s a little bit like magic. It’s a validation of like, I exist. (gentle music) – White people get to be
well rounded in the media, they get to be everything. They get to be everyone and everything. What about the rest of us? We just have to be maids, or we just have to be servants. We have to be slaves, we
have to be serving you. – So, I graduated from Boston University, I went to Oxford to study Shakespeare, and then I got to Chicago. I moved to Chicago and I was like, I’m going to be an actor now. And all the roles I was getting, were named Maria first of all, and most of the things
I had to say are like “Yes Mr. Jones, through here”. Like that’s all they wanted from me. – The interesting thing about the way an entire group of people are portrayed in film and television, is that people tend to believe that. Subconsciously that tells me
where my place in life is. – People have gotten away with not knowing how to work with people of color because they’ve never really had to. With the beauty industry,
– Yeah. – For them not to typecast us as being the class of women
that are afraid to wear color. – Oh no, no, no, no. Like all of this color’s invented. Like you can’t tell me I can’t have it. And also I will not be trained to believe that I’m not worthy of it. – The perception is that
one color works for all. Black has different shades. – There’s 27 countries that
make up the Latin diaspora. We’re not one thing. Sometimes they brownface me too much, or like orange me, or they wipe me out. – I hate when people
start contouring my nose and I didn’t ask for it. Like why is my face not
good enough for you? This is just my face. – Good, but just as pretty. I like this. I love this palette.
– I love it. Looking gorgeous. (laughter) – It was great. (laughter) You’re starting to see
more people of color as directors, as EPs, grips, screenwriters, makeup artists and I think that we are coming along. But I do think that we
have a very long way to go. – I feel things changing and I’m grateful for that change. As a black woman, there’re a lot more
voices in the industry, that sound like mine. That feel true and honest, to not just me, but to
my mother and my aunts and the community that raised me. – I’m creating a Latina show, where Latinas are at the
center and the forefront. I wanted it to look like we look. – You can be beautiful with
whatever feature that you have. Tall, dark, wide nose, big lips. Plus size, petite. Makeup should be used as tool, as a tool to enhance. – When my makeup is done correctly, I feel like I’m being
valued as and artist. And then the character is
being valued as a human. (gentle music)

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