Kerry Washington is on one of the most popular shows on television right now, but she revealed that she lost a couple chances at stardom because she didn’t fit a stereotype.
“Before ‘Scandal,’ I was actually cast in two other pilots. Both went to series, but I was fired and recast,” Washington told Aziz Ansari in Variety’s “Actors on Actors” video series. “For both, it was because they wanted me to sound more ‘girlfriend,’ more like ‘hood,’ more ‘urban.'”
Washington then added that friends of hers have told her they were tired of “gayface,” which she explained was “the gay version of blackface, like come in and be more effeminate.”
Ansari knows exactly what Washington is talking about. The “Master of None” creator and star has been very outspoken about the discrimination he has experienced in his career.
“It’s interesting, like every person that’s not a straight, white guy has their version of this,” Ansari said.
He then explained how it feels when he arrives to an audition to see a lot of other Indian men auditioning for hte same role.
“You just start feeling like, ‘Oh I’m not here [for me], I’m here because I fit what looks like the person they want in here,”‘ Ansari explained.
Watch Washington and Ansari discuss Hollywood stereotyping below: