Despite the fact it’s 2015 and you’d hope that society was a little less backward, racism in the entertainment industry is still depressingly existent. From being turned down for Hollywood roles for being ‘too urban’, being denied platforms for creavity, or being the subject of out-dated and offensive cultural appropriation in fashion, people of colour still face discrimination in an industry which is largely dominated by white (often middle-class, male, straight) people.
Rihanna, who has been killing it in music for over a decade, says she is still sometimes treated differently because of the colour of her skin. In a recent interview with The New York Times, the artist spoke about racial profiling and how she is aware of her race in business deals. ‘‘You know, when I started to experience the difference — or even have my race be highlighted — it was mostly when I would do business deals…And, you know, that never ends, by the way. It’s still a thing. And it’s the thing that makes me want to prove people wrong. It almost excites me; I know what they’re expecting and I can’t wait to show them that I’m here to exceed those expectations.’’
‘‘But I have to bear in mind that those people are judging you because you’re packaged a certain way — they’ve been programmed to think a black man in a hoodie means grab your purse a little tighter. For me, it comes down to smaller issues, scenarios in which people can assume something of me without knowing me, just by my packaging.’’