Mariah Carey had to look no further than her own experiences with racism to get into character for her latest film role.
In “Lee Daniels' The Butler," Carey plays a woman whose rapist kills her husband right in front of her son's eyes.
The son, Cecil Gaines, was modeled after real-life butler Eugene Allen, who served numerous presidents over his 34-year career in the White House.
This scene is a focal point for the entire film. However, Carey says this gut wrenching scene was not the most difficult one about this role. Rather, it was recreating the 1960 Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in located in North Carolina, where a white woman spit on an African-American college student.
Despite living in a "safe" suburban neighborhood in Long Island, Carey’s mixed raced parents (her mother is Irish American and her father is African American and Venezuelan) meant the singer grew up being acutely aware of race issues.
At the film’s press conference on Monday in New York City, Carey recalled how she was spit on by a fellow student on the school bus because of the color of her skin.