Beige Privilege: Jurnee Smollett-Bell Talks Colorism In Hollywood

Jurnee Smollett-Bell Calls Colorism “Disgusting” Says, “There Are Challenges My Darker Skinned Sisters Face I Will Never Know”

- By Bossip Staff
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Jurnee Smollett-Bell Says She Was Never A Child Star And “Underground” Isn’t A Slavery Show

Jurnee Smollett-Bell never disappoints, whether we’re talking about her beauty in an editorial fashion spread or her intellect in a magazine interview. It’s no wonder she was chose to grace the cover of Ebony Magazine’s March issue. Inside the issue the 30-year-old actress is outspoken as she addresses a variety of topics, including the reality of bias toward lighter skinned women in Hollywood (and the world at large).

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“There are obstacles and challenges that my dark-skinned sisters face that I will never know,” Smollett-Bell tells EBONY. “How they are perceived when they walk in a room of strangers is something I will never truly know. I would be ignorant to say colorism doesn’t exist, it’s gross and disgusting.”

Amen to that Sis! Good to see she is not one of those who would bypass an issue because it hasn’t negatively impacted them.

Many of us met Jurnee when she was just a kid, in her role as Eve in the film “Eve’s Bayou,” but Smollett Bell shuns labels like “child star.”

“I wouldn’t even call myself a former child star. I was a child actor; there’s a difference,” she explains. “People look at you and they think they know you. They think they can place you in a certain category by what they think they know about you. But there’s so much more to all of us than what we know and what we see at face value.”

We see this so often with actors and celebs in general — nobody likes being put in boxes. Would you agree with what Smollett says though?

One of the other issues Smollett addressed is the success of her show “Underground” which is entering its second season despite what some would call “slavery fatigue” among viewers resistant to seeing more portrayals of the painful period.

“I think we had seen the occupation so much, we wanted to see the revolution and that is what Underground is,” says the actress who plays Rosalee.

“It was the story of the uprising. It was the story of those of us who fought back, who attempted to fight for their freedom,” she explains. “That was a side of the story we were hungry to see in order to understand our whole history.”

Do you agree? Have you been watching “Underground?”

Hit the flip for more photos from Smollett’s Ebony spread.

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