With many young Black women in Hollywood opening up about their experiences amid the uprisings taking place across the country, Ryan Destiny is the latest to speak her truth.
Destiny, who was one of the leads of Fox’s Star, posted a letter on her social media accounts on Wednesday.
“This message is to my fellow Black sisters in particular… This goes for any career or work space but I’m speaking from my own experience,” she wrote in part. “If you are just now entering Hollywood in any form or plan to… and at some point experience discrimination, appropriation, racism, colorist, microaggressions even if sometimes sadly by your own people… speak up for yourself. I didn’t do that. Not nearly as much as I should have. Educate yourself even more. I didn’t do that. The times I wanted to perfectly articulate exactly how I felt but didn’t know how, frustrated me. Do not continue to ‘brush it off’ to keep a ‘job’ or to not piss off ‘powerful people. You. Hold. Your. Own. D**m. Power. KNOW. YOUR. WORTH. You do not NEED anyone who contributes to the ongoing passive, tolerated behavior of this white favored industry.”
She added, “It’s easier to stay silent because we’ve all seen what happens when Black people hold people accountable. We’re the “problem.” We lose deals. We lose industry relationships. We lose roles. We lose opportunities. We lose support. All because companies and people don’t want to be held accountable. I refuse to be compliant….I will stand up for me and the ones that need it in these rooms and spaces…Social media support is not going to cut it. KEEP THIS SAME ENERGY IN REAL LIFE. That is the only way true change will happen.”
Destiny explained on Twitter that she was supported and encouraged by Amber Riley, who opened up Wednesday about her experiences, as well as Samantha Ware who called out Glee star Lea Michelle’s abuse, leading to HelloFresh dropping Michelle and her issuing a vague apology.
Destiny’s fellow leads on Star, Brittany O’Grady and Jude Demorest, commented on the Instagram post and co-signed her.
“Ryan, this is so honest and so brave. even though you said here you wish you’d done more- i want you to know that the times you spoke up, corrected and stood your ground, right before my eyes, will stick with me forever. i’m better for them. seeing and hearing your experience has challenged me to be better. and I’m sure so many others feel that way. your voice here is powerful, like your voice in real life has been. i can’t wait to watch you get every last flower you deserve,” wrote Demorest.
O’Grady said, “This brings tears to my eyes Ryan. I am so grateful for this statement and your strength. I am so excited how you are going to impact our industry by speaking your truth with integrity. Thank you for speaking your truth. It is worthy. It’s the journey and it’s just the beginning.”
Destiny’s next project, the Claressa Shields biopic Flint Strong, is currently in pre-production. The film is written by Barry Jenkins and will be directed by Rachel Morrison. Destiny also recurred in the third season of Freeform’s grown-ish in 2020.
Read the full letter below: