Euphoria star Zendaya spoke about how colorism plays a part in Hollywood casting in The Hollywood Reporter's Drama Actress Roundtable.
The actress is currently garnering Emmy buzz for her complex performance as Rue on HBO's trippy teen drama. She was asked about her previous statement of telling her agents to put her name up for a variety of roles, even if it calls for a white woman to play them, in order to not take up space from Black actresses of darker complexions. She said she "absolutely" still asks that of her agents, recognizing that she has a privilege as woman with lighter skin.
"I also think it's important being a light-skinned woman to recognize my privilege in that sense as well as and make sure that I'm not taking up space where I don't need to," she said. "I think that's been a choice for myself," she said. "Our creator [Sam Levinson] wrote Rue based off his own experiences with addiction and he is a white man, so Rue could have been that. Rue had no description."
"So I'm very grateful and hopefully I'll be in a space like these ladies where I can create things and make space for other women who look like me and women who don't look like me," she continued. "That's the ultimate goal, to make room, [because] for a lot of Black creatives, it's not a lack of talent but a lack of opportunity."