Zoe Saldana-Perego is an American actress and dancer. Following her performances with the theater group Faces, Saldana made her screen debut in a 1999 episode of Law & Order. Saldana's film career began a year later with Center Stage, where she played a struggling ballet dancer.
Earlier This Week , it was reported that Will Smith could be starring in a new project called King Richard, telling the story of Richard Williams , The Father of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams .
While Smith has yet to confirm the news, it didn't stop fans from tweeting their excitement about the idea of The Star portraying such an accomplished man.
In recent years, Hollywood has made progress in representing minorities on screen, yet we still find ourselves circling around the issue of colourism.What is Colourism?
Colourism is described as discrimination against darker-skinned minorities and the idea that lighter-skinned minorities are given more Privilege - and before you complain about The Woes of "snowflake Millennials " - it isn't a new concept.
While dark-skinned slaves had more gruelling work outdoors on the plantations, their light-skinned counterparts usually worked indoors doing more domestic tasks - this preferential treatment occurred because light-skinned slaves were often The Product of White Slave owners raping their female slaves.
Over time, having a closer proximity to whiteness became a tool for survival and having lighter skin was seen as a desirable asset. Many believe those attitudes are still reflected in Hollywood today.Colourism in Hollywood
TV and film throughout the decades have offered up a plethora of stereotypes and tropes we've grown accustomed to, such as the mean, popular girls in school or the sassy black friend - and this same logic can be applied to the way certain skin tones have been perceived on screen.
"It's two things, firstly light-skinned people have always been seen as more palatable to the mainstream," says writer and Dazed's TV columnist, Bolu Babalola.
"And when I say mainstream, I do mean white, because there's proximity there to whiteness. . they [light-skinned people] are just seen as more acceptable and much easier to consume.
"And dark-skinned people, their experiences navigating race is often so different to light-skinned people's," she continues.In US sitcom Martin, Gina was played by Tisha Campbell (L) with Pam played by Tichina Arnold
Babalola says darker-skinned men and women are often seen as "animalistic" and "more sexualised" than their counterparts in the media, whereas light-skinned people are often portrayed as more refined, less threatening and more likeable.
A popular example of this dynamic can be seen in Martin Lawrence 's 90s US sitcom, Martin.
She was sassy, short-tempered and often at odds with Martin, who frequently insulted her throughout The Show .Zoe Saldana under scrutiny
Shows like Netflix's Dear White People were, when in The Show 's first season, its light-skinned protagonist Sam was given ample time to explore her struggles with her mixed-race identity and was also the subject of many men's affections.
But in season two of The Show , both Coco and Joelle's characters were given.
In 2016, Guardians of The Galaxy actress Zoe Saldana came under scrutiny for taking on The Role of Nina Simone in a film about The Singer , after photos of her wearing darker make-up and a prosthetic nose surfaced online.Nina Simone [L] was played by Zoe Saldana
Many of Simone's fans were unhappy with the casting and disapproved of Saldana's role, citing The Singer 's skin tone and appearance as being a vital part of her activism.
and believed other actresses such as Viola Davis would have been more suitable.
"As a light-skinned black woman it's important that I'm using my Privilege , my platform, to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community," she added.
Similarly, The Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg also noted in an interview with, that actresses like her and Zendaya "fill this interesting space of being accessible to Hollywood and accessible to white people in a way that darker skinned girls are not. "Amandla Stenberg and Zendaya, two of Hollywood's most sought-after talents, often speak out about their light-skin "Privilege "
Stenberg has also, where her character in the book was originally dark-skinned.
Colourism isn't an issue unique to Black Hollywood though. If you look over to India's Bollywood industry, most if not all of the, whereas.
This then feeds into India's billion dollar skin lightening industry where some of Bollywood's top actors often endorse these cosmetic products encouraging their adoring fans to lighten their skin.Why Black Panther was a game-changer The Valiant Okoye [Danai Gurira ], The Head of Wakanda's armed forces, was a fan favourite
Storm, one of The Most prominent black superhero figures is The Descendant of an ancient line of African priestesses, has always been drawn as a dark-skinned women in Marvel's comics. But for The Last 20 years, she has been portrayed as a light-skinned woman in every live-action film.
She was first played by Halle Berry in the X-Men trilogy from 2000 and Then Again in X-Men: Apocalypse with Alexandra Shipp in 2016, which was met with fierce criticism in 2017 across Twitter, where Shipp.Celebration of Black Beauty
She opened up About That moment in an, saying: "You can't tell me that I can't play a woman of colour because I don't match the Crayola marker from 1975 when they drew The Comic , that makes no sense.
"If all of us band together in a Perfect World and say no, this is meant for a dark-skinned actress, the studio would say 'you've lost your damn mind' and hire a younger, light skinned actress, " she added.
But Black Panther broke new ground.
Aside from the millions of pounds it raked in at The Box office, and awards including three Oscars for original music, costume and production design, it was hailed as a cinematic celebration of Black Beauty .
For many, it was the First Time fans had seen dark-skinned men and women portrayed in such a positive and heroic light, proving to be a landmark moment of dark-skinned representation in film.
BFI Network executive and founder of Bounce Cinema, Mathieu Ajan told the BBC we can't "ignore the fact that darker-skinned performers have been marginalised in the film and television industry for a very long time".
"He's selling the film and you're going to get a lot more people's interest in watching it.'Problem in the industry'
"He's a very hard working actor and there's a lot of reasons to cast him besides the tone of his skin," he added.
"The bigger picture of The World of casting is a bigger conversation that goes beyond this particular incident but it is a conversation that needs to be had. "
"I don't believe it's a colourism-led casting but there is a problem in the industry," he concluded.
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