It’s not uncommon for women to call out Hollywood’s incessant white-washing. In fact, it’s important! With the obvious lack of opportunities in the industry and many minority-led projects getting the axe, more and more actresses are speaking out against the lack of diversity in Hollywood.
Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez, who has starred in classic films like It Could Happen To You, Fearless, and the hit stoner comedy Pineapple Express, says that the industry still has a lot of work to do when it comes to diversity.
Perez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, told Variety about a time she was told by her then-agent that she needed to dye her hair and get a nose job in order to make it as an actor. She explained, “I don’t want her to be canceled, but she told me that if I dyed my hair blond and got a nose job, ‘I can get you more jobs. Because you’re not Black.’ I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness. Like, thank you, fired,’” she said at the time, before realizing that she didn’t have many other people in her corner. “I had nobody. I had no money.”
Luckily, Perez was introduced to fellow actress Jennifer Grey in 1990, who was disgusted by the story and helped the actress secure a new agent. “Jennifer and I clicked instantly,” Perez told the mag. “I haven’t seen that woman in ages, but I just think she’s phenomenal. She’s like, ‘I cannot believe how racist this industry is.’ She picks up the phone and calls Jane Berliner at CAA and says, ‘You need to represent this actress.’” Even though her Matrix audition wasn’t a hit, she was able to keep getting more offers.
Now, Perez is returning to television for her role in season two of Your Honor alongside Bryan Cranston, which is already better than her short-lived role on The View, which she was advised not to talk about. “Let’s just say that what I thought I was there for was supposed to be one kind of a thing, which excited me, and then when I got there, that’s not what it was,” the actress said. To be fair, The View is never what you think it’s going to be.