Six years ago, I had a deal with Lifetime Television to develop my bestselling novel, The Dirty Girls Social Club, as a TV series. It soon became clear that the relationship wasn’t going to work, when two executives insisted that my pilot outline “wasn’t Latin enough,” because it told of middle class, educated American women who happened to be Latina.
“This reads as if it were about me and my friends,” complained one executive in disgust.
I didn’t know how to respond, so I asked her what she’d prefer.
“Why don’t we make the girls debating whether or not to date men in prison? I know that’s what Latinas talk about, just like it’s what black women talk about.”
people always want to talk shit about us when we complain about f—-d up representation…but these are the conversations happening in board rooms….
Kim recommended “Over My Head” to me on Goodreads because I didn’t know it was out and she knows how much I loved the first book. I just want to acknowledge that Penguin put a Hispanic girl on the cover instead of doing that cop-out publishers do with POC by making their race ambiguous. Full-faced non-white person.
- The Hollywood Reporter: What's your worst audition?
- Connie Britton: "We just didn't get you."
- Anna Gunn: "We just didn't respond to you."
- Monica Potter: I'd just had my last kid..I was pushing like 180 pounds at the time. I'm like, "You guys, I just don't feel physically fit yet." I had my Spanx on and looked like a damn sausage, but I went in and thought I did a really good job. I got home and get the call from my agents. I'm like, "I did good, right?" And they say, "You did great. The problem is you're just …" "I'm too fat." "Yeah, we're just going to wait a little bit." I said, "I already told you this!" The weight thing is a crappy thing in this town, you know?
- Elizabeth Moss: On the first season of "Mad Men," I had to wear a fat suit and prosthetic makeup to make me look bigger.... We all have this perception of what we're supposed to look like. But that's what's so great about all these women here today: We're all completely different-looking, you know? We're all beautiful, but real women.
- Connie Britton: I agree. I've never had somebody say to me that I needed to look a certain way for a role, but I've always lived in dread of what that would be like. It's our responsibility to play these full-fledged women, and to play women who look like people we actually see in life. It's more interesting, and I think audiences appreciate it, too.
- Kerry Washington: It's a little bit different for me because I'll audition for something and they'll just decide that they're not going "ethnic" with a character, which I hear a lot.
- The Hollywood Reporter: Casting directors still use the word "ethnic"?
- Kerry Washington: If not "black," then yeah. People have artistic license … that's what casting is: fitting the right look to the right character. Whereas you could maybe lose some weight, there's not really anything I can do, nor would I want to, about being black.