Amandla Stenberg Says She Backed Out Of “Black Panther”
As you know, Black Panther has become a celebration of representation, with many applauding the way the film showcased the natural beauty of brown and darker-skinned Black women, in particular.
But it appears that was pretty close to not completely being the case. Actress Amandla Stenberg, known for roles in films like “The Hunger Games,” “Colombiana,” and “Everything, Everything,” was almost a part of the cast as well. However, she chose to duck out of it due to her look.
While chatting with Essence at their Black Women In Hollywood Event today, Amandla revealed that she was pretty close to snagging the role of T’Challa’s sister, tech genius Shuri — but realized her light-skinned-with-loose-curl-pattern presence in the film might not be all that appropriate a fit for the monumental imagery that ultimately accompanied the story:
“I was in the audition process for it, then I decided to not continue with the process because I thought that it wouldn’t be right for me as a biracial, light-skinned American to be playing [the role].”
I don’t think visually it [would’ve] make sense and it wasn’t appropriate for me to go after that role. Black Panther is one of the only films that we have that has darker-skinned representation. That’s what was so beautiful about it.”
She has a point. Folks are still going in on the fact that we’ve never gotten a non-mixed-race Storm on screen, for instance. Not to mention, mixed-race/light-skinned actresses have long gotten preferential casting treatment in all sorts of acting roles meant for Black women overall.
Given the big moment that ‘Black Panther’ became for representation, do you agree that Amandla made the right choice?