Thursday, August 18, 2022

Niecy Nash Talks Hollywood’s Diversity Problem with Chelsea Handler

“Claws” actress Niecy Nash recently made an appearance on Netflix’s Chelsea Handler show, where she explained why her success, and the success of other black actresses, doesn’t mean the conversation about Hollywood’s diversity issue is over.

Nash discussed how far Hollywood has come since the days of mostly “one-note” black female characters.

“There was a point where you knew if you were going out [for a role] it was just gonna be the sassy black dot dot dot — sassy black mama, sassy black neighbor, sassy black friend,” she explained.

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The Problem With The Diversity

Handler, clearly not getting Nash’s point, interrupted with, “But by the way, you are that girl.”

“I’m a lot of girls,” replied Nash, who is ESSENCE’s September 2017 cover star.

“The one thing that I will say is what I get all the time now is, ‘Well, because of Taraji and Viola and Kerry, things have changed,’” she continued, referencing the successful television careers of Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis and Kerry Washington.

″‘Now everything is OK.’ And I’m like, ‘No, it’s not.’ That is progress, and I love seeing my black and brown sisters on TV — but there are so many other women in the world besides black and white women,” she said, “whose stories are not being told.”

When asked by Handler what other women need their stories represented, Nash responded: “Well, I mean, Asian woman, Indian women, Muslim women. I mean, just, a lot of women.”

Meanwhile, Nash tells ESSENCE that her personal journey mirrors that of Cinderella.

“If you look at my track record, ‘She saw her mother get shot. She buried her only brother. She went through a horrible divorce. She lost her church.’ And to look at [my life], in many ways that does feel like a Cinderella story,” Nash told ESSENCE for her September 2017 cover story.

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Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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