Actress Sanaa Lathan Accuses Hollywood of Marginalizing Black Actors
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Sanaa Lathan

Ahead of Sanaa Lathan’s upcoming film, The Perfect Guy, co-starring Morris Chestnut and Michael Ealy (scheduled to release on September 11), the actress spoke to The Huffington Post, and revealed her thoughts on relationships and Hollywood.

The Love and Basketball star explained that her character in the film goes through a list to find her “perfect guy,” much like herself—only for Lathan, it has less to do with physical features.

When questioned on her criteria, the 43-year-old said that she has always liked people “from the inside out.” Lathan claims to not have a physical type, saying, “It’s about how I feel with them—that certainly has to be somebody that knows how to communicate.” Her preferences include long talks, philosophizing about life and art, a great sense of humor, and a man who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Lathan adds that she would definitely need someone confident enough to stand by her and let her shine. The actress wisely said that being with someone like her wasn’t easy, given the challenging daily life of a celebrity.

On a more serious note, Lathan also opened up about the constant lack of representation of minorities in Hollywood. Giving the example of Think Like a Man and Straight Outta Compton, she said that it is proof that more people outside the black community are interested in films that black characters portray.

“I think Hollywood has a ways to go,” Lathan says. She comments on a much required language change, which she believes will prevent the segregation of so-called “urban” or “niche” films from general Hollywood. Lathan claims, “It’s to marginalize us because it’s like some kind of a freak thing that we’ve made this money off this movie.”

And much of what the African-American actress said seems to be true—Hollywood has yet to remove its dominance of white male executives. According to a 2013 study by UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche, 94% of movie studio heads were white, while 92% in various other senior roles were also white.

Lathan highlighted this disparity and firmly stated that Hollywood should be a realistic representation of every culture. She also added that everyone needs to be aware of the fact that they are in the 21st century, and movies should represent that.

Source:
Williams, B., “Sanaa Lathan On The Marginalization Of Black Actors: ‘Hollywood Has A Ways To Go,’” The Huffington Post web site, August 31, 2015.

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