America Ferrera is all for diversity and inclusivity in Hollywood, but the actress is speaking out on an instance where she may have given in to the industry’s demands.
The former Ugly Betty actress spoke on the New York Times project “What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (If you’re not a straight white man)," alongside Queen Latifah, Eva Longoria and Julia Roberts, Huffington Post reports.
In her interview, Ferrera discussed an upsetting experience she went through as a young actress. “I was 18 and putting myself on tape for a movie I really wanted," she said. "I got that phone call: They cast a Latino male in another role in the film; they’re not looking to cast [a Latina]. So I defiantly bleached my hair blonde, painted my face white and made the audition tape. I never heard back. I just remember feeling so powerless. What do you do when someone says, ‘Your color skin is not what we’re looking for’?"
Ferrera now writes her own rules. As the star of the hit TV show Superstore, she no longer feels the need to change herself for roles. “Let me tell you: Blonde does not suit me,” she continued. “I try not to prove my point on audition tapes anymore.”
The actress has become an active voice for Latinos in Hollywood, often pointing out that she’s been “cast into” roles in the past. Ferrera has taken her views far beyond the television, too, joining Hillary Clinton’s campaign trail in recent weeks.