In a TikTok video initially posted back in February, actress Kelli Amirah described her uncomfortable experience on the set of Lovecraft Country.
Essentially, the makeup department darkened the color of her skin during her time as a background extra, and Kelli felt like she had no power to stop them from doing this. But this is all ESPECIALLY cringeworthy to hear about, given the fact this is a show that seeks to call out racism.
Fortunately, on March 8, HBO responded, saying:
“This should not have happened, and we are taking steps to ensure this doesn’t occur again in the future.”
Hmm. Is it just us or does this not sound sincere enough?
Let’s back up a little and go into more detail about what happened to Kelli. She showed up on set, and slowly but surely, as she sat in the makeup chair, they darkened her skin to the point where she looked like an entirely different person. Y’all, it was bad, and it made the actress feel SUPER uncomfortable.
On March 6, the performer took to Twitter and posted a thread that went into further detail about what happened. In one of the posts, she wrote:
“I had so many conflicting thoughts in my head. This is wrong. Why did they hire me? I should say something. What would I say? What would happen? If I hold up this production how much money goes down the drain? What will be my repercussions?”
Ugh, yeah. The life of an extra is already hard enough. Can you imagine being placed in her position where she’s practically forced to do this??
But even so, Amirah was more concerned with costing production money than about herself! That’s amazing.
The extra added:
“I didn’t say s – – t. I got very quiet and withdrawn and went through with the job like a coward. I was selfish and more concerned with the repercussions of my own career instead of doing what’s right and not participating in something that I knew was wrong.”
We hate she even has to feel this way. The thing is, it wasn’t like she was some star who had the power to demand they stop (even though she might not have felt comfortable even then). There can sometimes be hundreds of extras for a scene, and the grueling process of being a background person usually includes allowing them to put makeup on you however they deem fit. Of course, in this case, they went WAY too far.
Check out her full tweet thread below:
I’ve been getting a lot of very valid critiques for my complacency in allowing Lovecraft Country to darken my skin as a photo double for some set photography briefly featured in an episode. It’s uncomfortable but it’s not wrong. I was weak and complacent in that moment.
— Ffrenchie thee (slim) Stallion✨ (@TheKelliAmirah) March 6, 2021
There’s still no word yet on how else HBO might handle this and ensure nothing else of this nature happens again.
But what do you all think? Should we have more rules or laws that prevent things like this from happening? Drop us a comment below!