Kat Graham Says She Felt Heard Bringing Up Issues During "The Vampire Diaries"

Tamara Fuentes
·2-min read
Photo credit: Erika Doss - The CW
Photo credit: Erika Doss - The CW

From Seventeen

As Black actors around Hollywood talk about their experiences on how they've been treated on and off-screen, Kat Graham is now opening up about how it was for her on The Vampire Diaries.

Kat starred in the hit series for all 8 seasons as Bonnie Bennet, a witch who gets pulled into this brand new supernatural world due to her best friend, Elena. While speaking with Entertainment Tonight, the actress revealed that she always felt like she had someone to talk to about any issues, including higher ups on The CW.

"I will say that I was fortunate in a lot of ways because if I ever felt anything -- at the time Mark Pedowitz, who is still the president of The CW, who's also Jewish, he was a really great ear for me," she said. "There are a lot of great people in different studios that really do make themselves available to have conversations where there are things missing and there needs to be a shift of awareness. I will focus on the positive and people who really had my back and helped me understand what I needed to do and how I could support them in elevating the narrative of being young, Black, female in Hollywood."

"I've had a lot of support in terms of awareness in terms of support of writers, producers, directors, and I've been able to communicate any sort of racism or marginalization or tokenism I might have experienced whether on that show, or on other projects that I've dealt with," she continued. "It's not a new experience, but I did have to educate myself and figure out what can I do to help elevate this for other women who might come after me."

She also said that she's excited to get back on set and see some of the changes that have come from Black actors being more vocal about their experiences.

"I feel like things are shifting, but to be honest, we're all in a bit of a bubble and a lot of us haven't been on set," she said. "So, I don't know if I can say, 'Oh, I'm on set and the level of diversity and equity and there's a balance.' What I'm excited about seeing is the shift of consciousness and there's been a huge shift of consciousness this year, and I'm really excited to see the work [organizations and people] are doing to help really elevate the message and alleviate the suffering that people are experiencing where people don't feel heard. So, yes, I'm feeling the change of the awareness."

So does this mean that we might see Bonnie Bennet back in Mystic Falls on Legacies? Anything is possible!

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