Gabourey Sidibe and Gabrielle Union trade stories of racists casting calls

A recent episode of 'Empire' sparked the conversation.

Gabourey SIdibe


Gabrielle Union and Gabourney Sidibe have more in common that their nicknames.

Both actresses were moved by a recent episode of Empire, in which Hakeem Lyon is excited about a landing a role in a major movie, but is later subjected to racist requests from the film’s white director.

“Bring all your Black into it. Let your guard down. I know you’ve been taught to keep the beast in check. But on my set Black lives matter,” the director says. “Turn the Glock pinky up like a rapper does!”

As you can imagine, Hakim was not pleased about his run-in with the racist director and his acting gig ended more abruptly than he had hoped once he’s fired for refusing to give in to the ridiculous direction. “Don’t nobody do that,” he says before getting dismissed from his role.

Gabrielle Union and Gabby Sidibe identified with what they saw on the small screen and revealed details about similar situations they have experienced in their own careers.

Their revelations sparked outrage among fans on social media.

“I’ve mos def had a director or 2 who wanted me to be ‘blacker’ or ‘sassier’ or they just make a neck rolling motion and tell me to do that. Assholes,” Sidibe posted on Twitter.

“Gurl… Once had a casting director who kept saying ‘More sassy… you know. You KNOOOOW… like Della Reese,’” Gabrielle Union responded.

Sidibe continued to share some pretty horrifying stories.

Gabrielle Union on how her mother inspired her fierce performance in ‘Breaking In’

“A director asked me to audition for a scene, “as Precious”. He told me to remember that I was slow, had aids, lived in the pjs and had 2 babies waiting for me at home….. This was an audition to play a clerk at a toy store with 2 lines, 2 years after Precious. I didn’t get it,” she wrote.

Soon, several followers were reacting to the exchange and some shared their own experiences.

“Once had a casting director ask me where I’m from because I wasn’t convincing enough of being a Black man,” an actor said. “From the south, HBCU grad, dark as midnight but you wanted a stereotype not a Black man,” said one user.

“It happens. Its horrible. They choose you in the end tho. Youre in a couple of Seasons. Sorry the director caused a scene. Its uncalled for,” shared another follower.