Queen Latifah on trailblazing role in Netflix's Hollywood

Dan Seddon
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Digital Spy

Netflix's Hollywood star Queen Latifah has opened up about her trailblazing character Hattie McDaniel.

Winning an Oscar for her performance in 1939's Gone with the Wind, Hattie was the first Black person to receive the prestigious accolade.

Created by American Horror Story mastermind Ryan Murphy, Hollywood puts the Golden Era of Tinseltown under the microscope, and Latifah recently told Variety how important it was to feature Hattie.

Photo credit: Saeed Adyani - Netflix

Related: Hollywood creator Ryan Murphy addresses whether there will be a second season of Netflix series

"Her story is an important story and unfortunately her story is not a unique story," she noted. "There are so many actors of colour that were treated so disrespectfully in her time and faced so many challenges.

"Hattie McDaniel was gifted, but she was relegated to certain types of roles and when you have to decide between putting food on a table or playing a certain role, it is very difficult to make those decisions."

Latifah continued: "That's the position a lot of Black actors were put in at that time and that's still been happening. It's been happening up through the '80s and '90s for sure - you know, play a rapist in this role, play the mugger in this role, play the murderer in this role, or nothing at all."

Photo credit: Getty Images

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According to the actress, this type of casting discrimination "could happen again if we don't stay vigilant and make sure that our stories are told properly."

She also mentioned how her own skin colour and body type was taken into consideration when initially trying to reach the higher echelons of Hollywood.

"So, everything from that moment on was like, 'Okay, we have to create this ourselves if it's going to happen.' And that's what we did."

Hollywood is now streaming on Netflix.

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