Yara Shahidi Shuts Down Claims That She’s Racially Ambiguous

by Ellyce Ferguson

April 13, 2018

Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Yara Shahidi graced one of the covers of Marie Claire‘s most recent issue and looks absolutely stunning! She’s recently been in the spotlight for her outspokenness and activism, which she opened up about in the interview with the publication. Although her goal is not to be the face of blackness she says she has a larger vision:

“The goal is to open doors, role by role, and be drowning in a sea of people who look like me, or like someone else, so anyone can see themselves reflected on screen.”

On the topic of race, the 18-year-old spoke to ESSENCE earlier this week about the backlash she’s received when it comes to colorism. Fans were quick to accredit her spin-off of ABC’s Black-ishGrown-ish, to her skin complexion. On Twitter, she clapped back (in a classy way, of course) at a user who labeled her as racially ambiguous.

Additionally, the activist who is Iranian and Black told the magazine that she does not refer to herself as light-skinned either.

“I’m brown-skinned..” said Shahidi. “I also understand I’m not dark-skinned. I don’t know how to classify myself, but when you see me, unless you hear my name, no one’s like, ‘That’s a young Iranian girl.'”

The actress also doesn’t believe she has privilege in Hollywood based on how she looks.

“I get that within the Black community there are a couple of us who are chosen, not by any fault of our own, to represent everyone. But I’ve been the same character for five years…I am not out here in a ton of movies and a ton of TV shows,” she said in the interview that has since been deleted from the outlet.


Amandla Stenberg recently spoke up about colorism in the industry as well. The-19-year-old says she turned down a role in the billion-dollar-earning movie Black Panther because of how her lighter skin may have been perceived among a cast of darker-skinned actors. Does having lighter skin come with disadvantages in Hollywood as well?

TELL US: What are your thoughts on the topic of colorism in the entertainment industry?

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