I’m 45, Black, & A Woman: Nia Long on Hollywood Prejudice

 

Nia Long – actor and part-time hip-hop muse – opened up about sustaining success as a fortysomething black woman in Hollywood to host Larry King in an interview on the broadcaster’s web series, Larry King Now.

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Long, who shot to fame in the early 90’s as Will Smith’s love interest Lisa Wilkes in the hit TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, has maintained a healthy career in Hollywood since then, seamlessly jumping from TV to film roles.  But it wasn’t easy, she clarifies to King.  “Well here’s the thing. I’m 45, I’m black, and I’m a woman - so those are three really hard things to deal with,” Long states.  In the clip below, she reveals to Larry King the struggles she’s faced through her decade-spanning career: “I feel blessed and lucky to have the career that I have but there are times— I’ve been beat up in this business. It hasn’t been roses and fairy tales."

The NAACP Image Award-winner also sounds off on the “old conversation” of racial and gender equality within the industry.  “It saddens me that we aren’t in a place where we can just make good art and we aren’t in a place where I can be cast as the leading woman and my description does not have to say African American or black…I think we’re still afraid.”  Long says, though she’s been having the same conversation about discrimination for a long time, Hollywood hasn’t much changed when it comes to racial and gender inequality. “Nothing good ever comes from separatism,” she tells Larry King.

Long also discussed how her start on Fresh Prince inspired a recent career choice, and why rappers love to talk about her.  Check out the full interview with Nia Long only on Ora.TV.

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