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…
“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!