Gabrielle Union Reflects On Losing Role To ‘Prettier’ Actress
Gabrielle Union opened up about a rejection from a role “years ago” that really struck a chord in her confidence. She explained how she lost the role not because of her skill but due to how she looked.
The Perfect Find actress spoke to Netflix’s Strong Black Lead platform on Sunday (Oct. 29) about the incident.
“I was told I didn’t get the part because ‘She’s just prettier than you,'” she recalled. “For someone who had low self-esteem, it just felt like there was no place for me, for my kind of Blackness.”
She added that while it stung at the time, it was also a saving grace. The actress said, looking back, that if she would have gotten the role, her soul would have been “worn down” by being around people who thought like that. She concluded that she only wanted to be “in spaces where I’m wanted.”
While it was a lesson in itself what Union shared, people flocked to the comments to guess why Union was not given the role.
One fan suggested colorism came into play in how the other actress got the role. “That actress was probably just lighter than her. or some people that’s all it takes. you could look like a boogawolf but if you’re a lighter shade of boogawolf that’s “pretty” to them.”
“Prettier than Gabrielle Union?!? Yeaaa someone was being a big time hater.” one fan argued.
Was Gabrielle Union Referring To Her Scandal Audition?
In 2013, Union said she auditioned for Shonda Rimes’ Scandal as Olivia Pope. The role ended up going to Kerry Washington.
“I was one of the last five or ten to audition…when Kerry got it, I congratulated her,” Union told Essence per The Huff Post. “Now after each episode, I’m leading the charge, like Gladiators, stand up! I’m obsessed with the show…”
A fan suggested that it could have been the Scandal role Union was referring to in the Netflix interview but that everything happens for a reason.
“The role was Olivia Pope in ‘Scandal.’ It came down to her and Kerry Washington. They are both beautiful women. I think the role fit Kerry better, then Gabrielle got ‘Being Mary Jane’, which suited her better as well. What’s meant for you will be for you,” the fan wrote.
Union has been in several films over the years, dating back to the 90s. The timeline of “years ago” Union refers to is vague, and she has not confirmed that the audition she was referring to was Scandal.
Take a look at her interview here.