Priyanka Chopra says she was denied a Hollywood film due to her brown skin
Priyanka Chopra has revealed how she was subjected to classic Hollywood racism for a movie project last year.hollywood Updated: Apr 11, 2018 10:21 IST
Priyanka Chopra may just be the biggest star India has exported to Hollywood but even she can sometimes experience injustice out there. In a recent interview to Instyle magazine, the actor recounted how she was once denied a role in a movie simply because of the colour of her skin.
When asked about how Hollywood is treating her when it comes to equal pay for women or for people of all ethnicities, she recalled an incident from last year. “I was out for a movie, and somebody [from the studio] called one of my agents and said, ‘She’s the wrong—what word did they used?— physicality.’ So in my defence as an actor, I’m like, ‘Do I need to be skinnier? Do I need to get in shape? Do I need to have abs?’ Like, what does ‘wrong physicality’ mean?... And then my agent broke it down for me. Like, ‘I think, Priy, they meant that they wanted someone who’s not brown.’ It affected me,” she said.
As the interview notes, Priyanka is the first South Asian actor to get her own big Hollywood television show as the lead. Quantico, which will soon air its third season, has been greatly loved by fans since it aired two years ago. The show’s popularity made Priyanka a big celebrity in Hollywood. She was seen on the covers of almost all magazines, at all big league award functions like the Emmys, the Oscars or the Golden Globes. She also made her big Hollywood debut with Dwayne Johnson in Baywatch as the movie’s villain, in 2017.
Priyanka also talked about the pay disparity between genders and how it’s different in Bollywood and Hollywood. “In America, we don’t talk about it as brashly, whereas in India the issue is not skirted around. I’ve been told straight up, if it’s a female role in a movie with big, male actors attached, your worth is not really considered as much,” she said. However, she notes that even with all the shyness about not discussing it outrightly in Hollywood, producers still manage to do what they wanted to in the first place.
The actor also talked about how her parents raised her in a feminists’ paradise of a home. “I grew up in an environment where a woman led the household... He was man enough to say, ‘Listen, my wife does this way better than me.’ And nobody even questioned it. So when I came out into the big, bad world of entertainment, I was like, ‘Oh, well the world’s different from my house!,” she said.
Quantico’s new season will air on April 26 on ABC. She will also be seen in supporting roles in A Kid Like Jake and Isn’t It Romantic? She has not finalised any new Bollywood project yet.
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