Nia Long has opened up about the segregation she endured in Hollywood, one of them being denied a role in the 2000’s Charlie’s Angels because she looked “too old” next to potential co-star, Drew Barrymore.
“I was like, ‘What?'” Long told interview with Insider. “I love Drew Barrymore, I think she’s amazing, but I think that was just a nice way to say you’re a little too Black.”
This has shocked many people because Lucy Liu was chosen to play Alex Munday instead of her. Drew Barrymore, who is four years younger than Long, and starred as Dylan Sanders in Charlie’s Angels. However, Lucy Liu is two years older than Long, making her six years older than Barrymore.
“Personally, that’s what I think. Because if you notice there were no brown skin [actors],” Long continued in the interview. “I mean, honestly, I would have been the blackest thing in the film.”
Nia Long further added felt that referring to her as “too old and sophisticated” was coded language. Yet, she doesn’t view the experience as a missed opportunity.
“And I’m thinking to myself, it’s an actor’s choice to walk in the room how they want to look, but it’s a director’s vision to help create and curate a character,” she said. “So if you couldn’t see beyond the fact that I had on a blazer and a pair of jeans then that was clearly not the job and opportunity for me. So, no problem, I’ll keep it moving.”