Actors call for more black hairstylists in Hollywood

Black actors are calling on Hollywood to hire more hairstylists who know how to work with Afro-Caribbean hair.

Stars including Gabrielle Union – who is best known for her role in the movie Bring It On – have been sharing their experiences of turning up to production sets to find the hairstylists are not capable of working with Afro hair.

Union urged fellow actors to speak up if they found themselves in this position, tweeting: “If you stay quiet, you will have bald spots, hair damage, look nuts.”

The America’s Got Talent judge explained on Twitter that in order to work on Hollywood productions, hairstylists and make-up artists need to be members of a particular union – which she says is “extremely difficult” and “expensive” to join.

Yvette Nicole Brown
Yvette Nicole Brown said she wanted to “pull back the curtain” and reveal the issues black actors face. Image Copyright: Getty Images.

In a tweet liked more than 16,000 times, actress and TV host Yvette Nicole Brown explained that to avoid issues she often arrives on set with her hair already done, while others will bring their own wigs with them.

She added that there are also issues when it comes to make-up, with many stars taking their own foundation as some make-up artists do not have a shade to match their skin.

Fans have suggested that by taking these steps, black actors are having to pay for a service which other cast members receive for free.

A number of black actors have since called for more diverse make-up artists and hairstylists to be accepted into the union to stop these issues from occurring.

The discussion also struck a chord with London-based make-up artist Dorita Nissen who said there is “no excuse” for a professional not to be able to mix the right foundation shade for any skin tone.

The issue was first highlighted by model Olivia Anakwe who shared on Instagram that she arrived at a fashion show to find “not one person” was able to do her hair.

“After one lady attempted and pulled my edges relentlessly, I stood up to find a model who could possibly do it,”

she said.

Ms Anakwe explained it was the nail stylist who ended up doing her hair for the show.

“This is not okay. This will never be okay. This needs to change,”

the model wrote on Instagram.

She added that black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone’s hair and questioned why the same did not apply to others.

Signing off her post Ms Anakwe said: “I was ignored, I was forgotten… it’s 2019, it’s time to do better.”

Written By: Sarah Jenkins.

First Published 12.02.19: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-47538191

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