Anjelika Washington Spoke Up About Having A Stunt Double In Blackface, Was Told 'You Should Be Thankful To Be Here'
Photo Credit: S & A
News , Television

Anjelika Washington Spoke Up About Having A Stunt Double In Blackface, Was Told 'You Should Be Thankful To Be Here'

Anjelika Washington revealed that she was given a white stunt double in blackface while acting on a show a few years back. Washington, who currently stars in The CW's new DC Comics series, Stargirl, wrote on Instagram that the incident happened on her fourth acting job back in 2017.

As Variety reports, IMDB documents that Versus (from Verizon's now-defunct streaming service go90) as that project she is seemingly referring to, despite Washington not confirming if this is true. Regardless, she wrote under her post, featuring her in a selfie with her stunt double in blackface, that the incident made her "very uncomfortable" so she "spoke up" for herself.

"I pulled one of our producers aside and asked, 'Why isn't my stunt double Black like me? Isn't that the point of a double?" she wrote. "She responded 'Sure. But we couldn't find a Black stunt double in L.A. Los Angeles doesn't have many Black stunt performers. But aren't you happy to be working? You should be thankful to be here." She added that the incident made her feel "powerless, voiceless and somehow ungrateful."

"There's this oppressive thing that often happens when everyone and everything are ran by white people on sets (and in any industry) where they try to manipulate POC into just being GRATEFUL to be there," she continued. "They do this to us because they know that they literally run the show. They feel like a savior for giving a young Black girl a role in their show, even though most times it's just to check a box."

"They often don't check to see if we are comfortable with what they are asking of us, they often call us unprofessional or a diva for advocating for ourselves, and most times they get away with paying us way less than our costars," she wrote. "This is why being inclusive and hiring POC in front of the camera and behind it is extremely imperative."

You can read the full post below.

View this post on Instagram

Flashback to 2017. My 4th job as an actor, my first recurring guest star, and my first time having a stunt double— and they painted her black. I was very uncomfortable (as anyone would be to meet your double in blackface) so I spoke up for myself, I pulled one of our producers aside and asked “Why isn’t my stunt double black like me? Isn’t that the point of a “double?” She responded “Sure. But we couldn’t find a black stunt double in LA. Los Angeles doesn’t have many black stunt performers. But aren’t you happy to be working? You should be thankful to be here.” ....I immediately started to question myself: “Do I sound ungrateful? Am I complaining? Maybe this is just how it is?” So I said “okay.”, I sat down in my chair, shut up, and tried to think positive thoughts. (Hence my smile in this photo) But really, I felt powerless, voiceless, and somehow ungrateful.... Anyone who knows me knows that “grateful” is one of my favorite words and feelings. So in this moment I felt like somehow I was in the wrong for speaking up for myself. But NO, she was wrong. See, there’s this oppressive thing that often happens when everyone and everything are ran by white people on sets (and in any industry) where they try to manipulate POC into just being GRATEFUL to be there. They do this to us because they know that they *literally* run the show. They feel like a savior for giving a young black girl a role in their show, even though most times it’s just to check a box. They often don’t check to see if we are comfortable with what they are asking of us, they often call us unprofessional or a diva for advocating for ourselves, and most times they get away with paying us wayyy less than our costars.... This is why being inclusive and hiring POC in front of the camera and behind it, is extremely imperative. Luckily for me, I kicked ass in my action scenes and my stunt double wasn’t even used. But the thing is, the whole time I kept telling myself “I have to be great. No, I have to be better than great. I have to be so amazing that they don’t need her. No one can know that I have a stunt double in blackface.” **more to the story: Rest in comments**

A post shared by Anjelika Washington (@anjelikaw) on Jul 15, 2020 at 10:44pm PDT

READ MORE:

Nick Cannon's Daytime Talk Show Delayed Until 2021 Following His Anti-Semitic Remarks

Federal Court Denies Netflix's Second Motion To Dismiss Mo'Nique Lawsuit

Photo: Anjelika Washington/Instagram

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2022 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.