Unfortunately, colourism still persists in today’s world. People like you and I aren’t only the ones who fall prey to this stereotype, celebrities go through the same too. In fact, our #GirlBoss, Priyanka Chopra, recently shared her bitter experience in a recent interview. The 35-year-old actor spoke about how she lost out on a movie role in Hollywood because of the colour of her skin.
“It happened last year. I was out for a movie, and somebody (from the studio) called one of my agents and said, ‘She’s the wrong — what word did they use? — ‘physicality,’ ” Chopra recalled.
Initially, Chopra thought that it had something to do with her body frame. She wondered if she needed to lose weight for the role.
She later added, “So in my defence as an actor, I’m like, ‘Do I need to be skinnier? Do I need to get in shape? Do I need to have abs?’ Like, what does ‘wrong physicality’ mean?”
“And then my agent broke it down for me. Like, ‘I think, Priy, they meant that they wanted someone who’s not brown,’ ” she shared. “It affected me.”
This isn’t the first time Priyanka Chopra felt targeted because of her skin colour. She had her first traumatic experience in the United States when she was just a teenager.
“When I went to school here, I didn’t see anyone who looked like me.” The B-Town actress was an easy target for bullies because of her culture and skin. “I was called ‘Brownie’ and told, ‘Take your curry and go back to your country.’ It was hard. I wanted to go home, and I did.”
If that news wasn't disheartening enough, Priyanka’s opinion about the wide gender pay gap in the film industry shocked us.
“I feel it every year, especially when you’re doing movies with really big actors, whether it’s in India or America. If an actor is getting 100 bucks, the conversation will start with max, like, 8 bucks. The gap is that staggering. In America, we don’t talk about it as brashly, whereas in India the issue is not skirted around. I’ve been told straight up if it’s a female role in a movie with big, male actors attached, your worth is not really considered as much. It happens in both countries, it’s just that here, it’s hidden behind other things. In America, everyone is so worried about being liable that they don’t want to say anything wrong, but they end up doing it anyway.”
Another point to be noted, “People don’t go watch females in movies because they don’t believe that they can be heroes. The world has to change the way they look at their heroes. Specifically how men can help is changing the ‘locker-room talk’ conversation. Nothing will change until we break the stereotypes of gender in our normal, day-to-day life."
I think it’s high time we stop judging each other or our capabilities on the basis of how we look. Let’s think beyond and be kinder to people and respect them for their talents and opinions and not judge them for the language they speak, the country they belong to, their gender or the colour of their skin.