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Actor Sheryl Lee Ralph Opens Up About Being Fired From A Pilot For Not Being 'Black Enough'

Actor Sheryl Lee Ralph Opens Up About Being Fired From A Pilot For Not Being 'Black Enough'
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Tony-nominated actor Sheryl Lee Ralph has revealed she was once fired from a television pilot for "not being Black enough."

65 year-old television and Broadway actor Sheryl Lee Ralph revealed she was a victim of racist casting back in the 1980s.

Ralph, famous for her breakthrough role in the Broadway musical Dreamgirls as well as her roles in Moesha and more recently the successful sitcom Abbott Elementary, told People magazine she was once fired by a producer for not being "Black enough."

She said:

"People's thinking was not very inclusive. You [had] directors who were still trying to tell you how to be Black."
"I was fired from a pilot because the producer told me I was 'not Black enough.'"
"Those were his words. It was horrible. I can still remember the way I felt."

Unfortunately, this isn't the only instance of racism Ralph has endured.

Last month, Ralph told The View she was once questioned about her ability to land a leading role in a romance due to her race.

She said:

"[I] had a memorable audition with a big casting director who looked at me and said, 'Everybody knows you're a beautiful, talented, Black girl. But what do I do with a beautiful, talented, Black girl? Do I put you in a movie with Tom Cruise? Do you kiss? Who goes to see that movie?'"

Ralph was then asked to reveal the name of the director who said this to her, but Ralph refused.

She said:

"Why bother? Look at me now."
"But I left that audition with some of the best ammunition. Everybody knew I was a beautiful, talented, Black girl and I should be in the movies with the likes of a 'Tom Cruise', and he should kiss me."

Twitter users are heartbroken over the overt racism Ralph and other Black actors face in Hollywood.

Ralph said she has tried to remain positive over the course of her 45 year career despite instances of racism she faced in Hollywood.

She said:

"It's all about the lens that you see through."