Black actors share ‘heartbreaking’ experiences of how bad Hollywood is at handling their hair

A viral Twitter thread is exposing how a lack of diversity behind the scenes in Hollywood is having an effect on Black actors and their hair.

“This s*** is so heartbreaking,” the first tweet says, which is accompanied by interview excerpts from Black actors who were appalled to discover make-up and hair departments didn’t know how to style Black women’s hair.

The actors include Boy Meets World’s Trina McGee and Tati Gabrielle from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, who both revealed they styled their own hair for their respective series as the crew didn’t understand Black hair.

High School Musical star Monique Coleman also said that her character Taylor wore her iconic headbands because the hair department had done her hair “very poorly in the front”, and so she suggested incorporating the accessory.

The thread features examples of countless actors who have spoken out about the unfair treatment they have received on sets when it comes to their hair.

In another video, The Flash star Candice Patton explained that it’s “not enough” to simply hire actors from diverse backgrounds.

“If you are making the choice to hire diverse talent, you need to be aware of what comes with that,” she says. “You then have to make sure that those people are set up to succeed and win and feel safe. That comes with a lot of things and I don’t think networks in general are equipped to handle that.”

She adds that she doesn’t want to be labelled a “diva” for making a valid request for someone who knows how to style Black hair.

The thread shows the importance of hiring people in the hair and make-up department that understand a variety of hair textures – not just white people. Or even better, hiring Black hair stylists.

Several Black actors have revealed that they had to wake up early in the morning to do their own hair because they feared what it might look like on camera in the hands of someone else.

Others have also been inspired to speak up about their experiences with stylists unequipped to deal with Black hair.

It proves that representation behind the camera is just as important as representation on screen.

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