Alesha Dixon Talks Racism Within Media Industry: ‘I Was Told Black People Couldn’t Sell Magazines’

Published: Friday 5th Apr 2013 by David

Alesha Dixon is opening up on what many would agree is a sensitive issue.

As one of the many driving forces behind Urban music’s mainstream notoriety in the late 90s/early noughties, the success she enjoyed as one third of Mis-Teeq went a long way to alter the perception the British media had of women of color.

However, in an interview she gave to Cosmopolitan Magazine recently, she revealed how underlying racism within the British media has seen an absence of ethnic women on prime time TV shows and the nation’s media industry as a whole.

Her comments below…

She revealed:

“Sadly, I’ve learnt that prejudice still exists in parts of the entertainment industry – I did an interview with a magazine once and the journalist quite openly said they wouldn’t put a black person on the front cover because the magazine wouldn’t sell.”

“There still aren’t many black women on prime-time TV… Times are changing, but it’s interesting we’re in 2013 and still experiencing firsts… Hopefully in the next 100 years things will balance even more.  Britain is an amazing multicultural place to live in, and that should be celebrated and represented.

When I first told my dad I wanted to be a singer, he said, “What makes you think you’re going to succeed? Black people from this country don’t succeed.” 
I remember that conversation as if it was yesterday because he was right – if you looked at the UK charts at the time there weren’t many black British artists selling records… But I’ve always said you can’t use colour as an excuse… I had to do what was right for me. In a way that gave me the determination to work harder.
 
‘When we formed Mis-Teeq we were struggling for money for five years… We took a risk and we worked hard to pull it off… We were a minority and a girl group against the odds. We never had loads of money thrown at us or went to stage school. That made success so much sweeter.”
When it comes to the issue of racism within entertainment, there are some who take a ‘no it doesn’t happen approach’.
However, as many in the know can attest to, the lack of ethnic (not just black) women given the same industry push afforded to their fair counterparts has become all too obvious in recent years.
Think about it.
When was the last time the world saw a US act of Asian descent top the Hot 100 or a ‘darker skinned’ starlet afforded the red carpet treatment afforded to their ‘Europeanised’ counterparts.
For, while are quick to blame audiences for being turned off by anything that doesn’t look or sound like a Rihanna, Beyonce or Ciara, one does have to wonder why  record labels and PR companies- who really have the means to push whatever they want- only seem to be interested in pushing ethnic acts with a particular look.
See blonde hair light eyed look recently adopted by Nicki Minaj.
Is it that Indian,  Chocolate’, Arabian and Chinese girls simply aren’t interested in recording deals? Or are there statistics out there that prove that the point the media head in Alesha’s story put forward….that black people really can’t sell magazines.

Weigh in below! 

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  1. Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

    Lmao @ you throwing Ciara into the mix. She isn’t light skinned nor does she sell records anymore. But whoever that chick is….she told nothing but the TRUTH. People on this site try to act like it doesn’t exist, but racism is very prevalent today. “If it ain’t white/light, it ain’t right” smh!

    • Sleazy April 5, 2013

      No where did Sam say “selling now” at one point Ciara was slaying your favs and home girl has sold millions! What has your fat ass done besides hating? OH what sam was doing is proving a point that black woman can succeed Ciara has charted within the top 10 in the UK many times and Topped it to! I swear I’m sometimes ashamed to be apart of such a terrible generation

      • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

        “At one point” kiii. Her last successful album was in 2006 boo. Why isn’t she selling now? SHE DOES NOT FIT INTO THE NICKI, BEYONCE & RIHANNA EQUATION #deal you delusional c***.

    • Pop Culture April 5, 2013

      Rihanna navy is always attacking Ciara sales. Did they forget how their fav was struggling to push albums? E.g “Music of the sun” rihanna newest album hasn’t even topped the 3mil mark But they hating on other artist, as fast as you can rise the quicker you can fall You and your fav need to remember that

      • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

        Ummmm boo MOTS sold 1.5 million WW. UNA currently sits at 2.7m WW and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. But why does that matter? Like I said CIARA ISN’T LIGHT SKINNED, HASN’T HAD A HIT IN YEARS AND HASN’T HAD A CERTIFICATION SINCE 2007. How does she fit into the article? I can see Beyonce, Rihanna and Nicki, but Ciara? HA!!!! #staymad #staydelusional FLOP

      • FAF April 5, 2013

        @Navy Sailor how many yrs did it take those sales to get to where they at? In 10 yrs for all we f****** know ciara’s “FLOPS” can be gold! STFU f***

        secondly nor is she light skinned, she’s brown like Nicki w/o Makeup

      • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

        @FAF gurl shut up….

    • Robyn Fenty (The STD infected goat) April 5, 2013

      Ciara is the exact same complexion as Rihanna & Beyonce. If those 2 are lightskinned then so is Ciara.

    • more April 6, 2013

      ciara is light skin tho????

  2. Candi April 5, 2013

    …. you are forever mentioning Ciara .. she is irrelevant and doesn’t sell in the US never mind the UK :S

    • Pop Culture April 5, 2013

      She DID! If she isn’t relevant you wouldn’t be mentioning her what Have you done besides f*ck your father? You will have every seat under the sun

      • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

        Lmao Ciara is IRRELEVANT boo. Get over it.

      • Pop Culture April 5, 2013

        If she was IRRELEVANT as you say Why do you keep mentioning her? Someone needs a seat

      • FAF April 5, 2013

        You will DEAL with her name in your mouth

        Billboard woman of the YR! Where’s your faves? 😆 *WAITS FOREVER*

      • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

        I mentioned her because her name was in the article dumb ass. You tried though….kiii.

  3. Love on top April 5, 2013

    Rihanna navy stay dumb they never get the point always first to hate

    • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

      Baby gurl I got the point. No hate, all facts.

      • Pop Culture April 5, 2013

        Its HATE at 1 point Ciara was selling better than she was Now………. The only albums of your fav that can stand against her Debut is GGGB and LOUD so you will have a seat

      • FAF April 5, 2013

        ^ Thank u ! 1 Ciara album outsold 3 Rihanna albums in the US. They mad

      • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

        Goodies sold 2.6 million and her second album sold 1.3 million. And she ISN’T a worldwide artist, so I won’t even go there 😆 keeeeeep reaching babe.

      • Pop Culture April 5, 2013

        Goodies sold 3mil in the US ALONE! Over 2mil WW….. H** get your facts straight …. Goodies sold over 5million WW

  4. Pop Culture April 5, 2013

    Nobody even noticed rihanna after her beating from Chris brown

    • Khia who? April 5, 2013

      Thats obviously a lie she had 4 number 1s & two platinum albums before the beating

      • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

        RIGHT. Her first #1 single was in 2006…three years prior to that incident. AGLM sold 3.5 million WW.

        Pon De Replay, SOS, Unfaithful, Umbrella, Take A Bow, Please Don’t Stop The Music, Disturbia, Rehab, Hate That I Love You were ALL HITS before CB.

        As a matter of fact her least successful era (RATED R) happened right after Chris (even though she still got a #1 single out of it)

        oh, the reach! 😆

      • FAF April 5, 2013

        ^Had that beating not occurred, the album would’ve FLOPPED 😆

      • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

        Well maybe Future shou…..nevermind I’m not even gonna be ignorant. 😆

    • Robyn Fenty (The STD infected goat) April 5, 2013

      True story.
      Her only claim to fame is the Chris Brown beating….hence why they would rather ask her about her love life in every interview as opposed to her music.

  5. Khia who? April 5, 2013

    Who????

  6. my forehead tho April 5, 2013

    Very interesting and unfortunate.

    Also, I think the answer is the latter “that black people really can’t sell magazines”. Not only magazine, dark skinned girls can’t sell records neither. For some reason or another they, like Asian women, are not relatable and don’t appeal to the record label’s and magazine’s white target audience.

    *Looks to the future where incidences of racism, bigotry, and prejudice are just as low as The Navy’s standards for talent.

  7. JARED (WHITE DUDE) April 5, 2013

    Does “Rihanna, Beyonce and/or Ciara” have to be put into evething @TGJ. I couldn’t care less if you were making a collective point either.

    Anyway, I understand what she’s saying, of course I do, BUT…

    From a showbusiness context; I Dont like Alesha… a DUMB person should never be on the panel of any major show where experience and know-how count. I always wonder what Alesha Dixon has to offer the world in terms of intelligence or talent? I could care less about colour, I care about what a person can offer to intrigue me and to make me want to watch this person. Alesha Dixon is so vacant that I’m not sure what she is in show business for? She was even asked to be the ‘fitness ambassador’ for LA fitness without there being any evidence that she even knows what she is talking about. The stills of her demonstrating exercises were hilarious. I am baffled by these non-entities coming onto the scene and being hoisted onto some sort of platform of importance by the media.

  8. Pop Culture April 5, 2013

    Yes but she didn’t get much press until then Plus rihanna milked her abuse situation to sell albums! Till today she does! She depends on Controversy for attention “Bad girl” gimmick needs to go! We all know rihanna flop album was MOTS! No one denies the success her singles had but her album sales always been average minus GGGB

    • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

      ANYWAY. This post isn’t even about WORLDWIDE SUPERSTAR Rihanna. It’s about RACISM in the industry. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT F***????

  9. Savannah April 5, 2013

    Sorry but I laughed when I saw Ciara’s name. Huh? What?

  10. Pop Culture April 5, 2013

    H** you started it goodbye

  11. DOSSOME April 5, 2013

    A sensitive issue gets reduced to a stupid stan-war…sigh

    • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

      Right they’re in here defending Ciara. At least I commented on the topic at hand.

  12. DBSK/2NE1/Nicki April 5, 2013

    Great read, but can we stay on topic. I really wanna know what everyone else thinks about this cos all my friends look at me like I’m funny when I talk about this.

    I’m from Sweden but I moved to Bridgeport four years ago and the first thing I noticed when we moved is that there is no variety on tv. In Europe we have girls of all shades in music and on Tv even though everyone says we’re racist but over here all the girls look the same, even the black ones.
    They all have white skin or try as hard as possible to look white and I always wonder why but my friends don’t see it because they don’t really pay attention. We get all colours when it comes to guys but when it comes to non white girls they’re either so fair that they’re almost white or look nothing like the average girl.

  13. FentySoSnatched April 5, 2013

    America and Britain aren’t the only places that do this. Bollywood is notorious for casting girls with bleached skin.

    • Lana Del Slay April 5, 2013

      True dat. Obama says he black when he’s actually biracial and so does Halle Berry. When it helps them hey claim they’re full black even though they’re half white.

      • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

        People usually affiliate themselves by what society sees them as. If you’re biracial (black mixed with whatever), American society sees you as BLACK. Sometimes it has to do with the culture you grew up in too. Even though it’s no longer 1930, some still go by the one drop rule. It’s a double edged sword….

      • MISHKA April 5, 2013

        At one point, mixed people have to choose and most of the time, they go for Black because White people don’t see them as white ANYWAY.

        Add Alicia Keys on the list.

      • Mother Mariah April 5, 2013

        I agree with you both Navy Sailor & Mishka. My dad is Puerto Rican & white and my mom is black. I’ve always been a black guy. I grew up in a black family, a black church, around the black culture….s*** I’m black and I’m proud lol.

  14. BrandNuStar April 5, 2013

    YAASSS! B****** only want to say they’re black when it suits them. Mariah didn’t want to claim her African American roots until being black was popular.

    • RITA CAN’T SLAY S*** April 5, 2013

      TRUTH!!! I REMEMBER THAT!! MC WANTED TO BE BLACK WHEN IT WAS HELPING HER MAKE BLACK MUSIC

    • Navy Sailor!!! April 5, 2013

      But weren’t her biggest selling albums released when she was in the adult contemporary format? Mariah grew up listening to R&B music. Tommy Motolla marketed her to the pop/adult AC crowd in the beginning. She could’ve easily stayed there but she seems most comfortable in her R&B element.

      Kinda like how Clive did Whitney. At one point blacks HATED her because she was only marketed to the pop audience! Whitney grew up listening to gospel, Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle, but Clive Davis had her singing pop music!

  15. Drew April 5, 2013

    I didn’t know she was black… i thought she was half white (Italian). She looks mixed race.

  16. MISHKA April 5, 2013

    Well, water is wet, Alesha. We all know the truth.

    It’s no surprise if you’re the most successful one of Mis-Teeq, the dark-skinned girl had no chance despite her great singing skills.

    They don’t put Naomi, Beyonce, or Rihanna because they are Black, but because they can sell DESPITE the fact that they are Black.

  17. Suicide Blonde April 5, 2013

    I don’t know who is he but it all depends of the person that is on the cover of the magazine, for example, I would buy a copy of an edition of a magazine with Naomi Campbell on the cover but i won’t buy one with Mary J. Blige, if you know what i mean, the same goes for caucasian people, i want to see Angelina Jolie on the cover of Vogue not Jennifer Aniston, so for me it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, it’s about the person, another example: two editions of People magazine, two covers, one with Halle Berry and one with Anne Hathaway, which edition will sell more?

    Halle Berry.

  18. Kev April 5, 2013

    Awww, thats terrible. No one should have to be going through that. I do see more white covers but i see black covers as well. Most of the time the black covers are celebs with a lot of star power. It has nothing to do with lightskin or darkskin. And when did skin become such a big thing again. That s*** is so late and tired. Lmao @ yall arguin whos light n whose not. Ciara is redbone. Shes on the darker end of lightskin like nicki but theyre light non the less. Bey n Riri are medium light. And girls like Mya are really light (yellowbone) all colors can be beautiful.

  19. Mother Mariah April 5, 2013

    Well when it comes to magazines, people will buy it if they’re interested in the person gracing the cover. But then you’d have to remember the magazines target market. Teenage white girls most likely aren’t gonna buy an issue of Seventeen Magazine if Ciara’s on the cover, but if it were Rihanna, they’d definitely buy it because they’re most likely interested in her. And Rihanna and Ciara’s complexions are kinda similar…just like a black woman most likely wouldn’t buy an issue of Essence Magazine if Heidi Klum were on the cover…

    BUT we ALL know that the skinny blonde-haired, blue-eyed chick will be worshiped before the brown, olive colored or yellow girls….

  20. JBvanilla April 5, 2013

    As someone who works first hand in the media and entertainment industry AND a person of color… BLACK PEOPLE DONT SELL… it is a proven fact, and I have the recites (or lack there of) to prove it… For some reason or another blacks mainly, do not support those leading their cause…

  21. K*** Kruncher Azealia April 7, 2013

    Tis is true my Fav couldn’t sell the last and she was on because of her darker complexion… Dad but true

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