HBO: ‘Disappointed’ to hear about darkening of ‘Lovecraft Country’ extra’s skin

The extra posted to TikTok detailing her odd experience with the makeup team

In a recent statement, HBO says they are “disappointed” to hear about an extra whose skin was darkened on the set of their hit drama, Lovecraft Country.

Read More: ‘Lovecraft Country’ nabs five Critics Choice Awards TV nominations

Actress Kelli Amirah took to TikTok to detail an odd experience she had as an on-set extra, in a series called “My Wildest Background Actor Storytime.” In the video, Amirah details her experience on set, saying that she heard the makeup artists talking about her light skin tone.

She revealed, “I notice my foundation is getting darker and darker… I was so uncomfortable. I had no idea they were going to do this to me, and if I had known beforehand I would not have accepted the job.”

Amirah also explains that as an actress just breaking into the industry, it was hard to speak up, saying, “I’m not s— yet. I have no clout, no pull, no nothing.” Then, she reveals pictures of her look on the TV show, in which her skin is very clearly darkened with makeup.

(Credit: HBO)

After the TikTok video naturally gained some steam, HBO has now released an official statement addressing the situation. According to The Wrap, HBO says they “We were very disappointed to learn of Ms. Amirah’s experience. This should not have happened, and we are taking steps to ensure this doesn’t occur again in the future.”


Reply to @selahhassni they really did me like Zoe saldana as Nina Simone #storytime #extra #backgroundactor #tvfilm #blackfishing #onset #part2

♬ original sound – KelliAmirah

On Twitter, Amirah further broke down the controversy and detailed her perspective on the situation. She wrote in the thread, “I’ve been getting a lot of very valid critiques for my complacency in allowing Lovecraft Country to darken my skin as a photo double for some set photography briefly featured in an episode. It’s uncomfortable but it’s not wrong. I was weak and complacent in that moment.”

She went on to write, “Maybe I would have felt more empowered to speak up had I been in the extras holding and hair&makeup like I was used to, but here I am navigating a whole other side of the bts experience that I’ve never been in. I’m a little fish with the big guys. And I choked…I got very quiet and withdrawn and went through with the job like a coward. I was selfish and more concerned with the repercussions of my own career instead of doing what’s right and not participating in something that I KNEW was wrong.”

Lovecraft Country, created by Misha Green and based on the novel of the same name, premiered on HBO last year to critical acclaim. The show was recently nominated for five Critic’s Choice Awards at last night’s ceremony. Michael K. Williams took home Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role of Montrose Freeman.

Read More: ‘Lovecraft Country’ star Michael K. Williams dances to house in viral video

Check out Amirah’s TikTok posts here and her twitter thread detailing the situation here.

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