Alexandra Shipp Criticised Over Colorism Remarks

Published: Friday 16th Mar 2018 by David

Fans of the rising actress Alexandra Shipp have taken to social media to educate her on the nuanced nature of race, racism and colorism in the world following remarks she made about the issues.

Full story below…

Shipp faced fire when she poorly cast as Aaliyah in the widely panned ‘Lifetime’ movie about the late singer’s tragic life.

At the heart of said fire? Hollywood’s habit of casting racially ambiguous black women to fill roles undeniably black actresses are blocked from filling.

Unfortunately, the heat she faced grew a fresh pair of legs when she was then cast to play the Kenyan superhero Storm as part of a lucrative deal with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

How Shipp responded to the debate surrounding the preferential treatment many believe she receives in Hollywood?


She added…

What I experienced on Twitter which I personally, had no idea the grandiose of speaking on it, I was speaking on a personal experience and I feel like I was this metaphorical straw that broke this interracial camel’s back,” she said. “I wasn’t trying to offend anyone, but at the same time if my work offends you, let’s take a step back and ask why my personal experience is offensive to you? When we’re talking about the reality of the situation, I’m not wearing black face, I’m not putting on a prosthetic nose or lips, I’m not trying to kink my hair up so that I can have a fro, I have a fro. I wake up with it every morning and I go to bed with it every night. But if someone said, ‘Alex, we want you to play this historical figure but we’re going to have to darken you up’, I would respectfully decline. I would be like there are so many incredible actresses that don’t have to alter their appearances that would do this job justice, but as a woman of color, you can’t tell me that I can’t play a woman of color because I don’t match the Crayola marker from 1975 when they drew the comic, that makes no sense.

When asked to consider the fact Hollywood’s systemic erasure of darker-skinned women she shared…

You look at people like Lena Dunham and Issa Rae, they have been given a platform to uplift people of every race, sexuality and denomination and that’s what I strive for, that’s the only route towards real inclusion that I’ve seen. The way I see that I can affect social change within my industry is by working really hard and taking on roles that make people uncomfortable, that’s the whole point of theatre. It’s getting those roles and saying, I’m not playing a black woman, I’m playing a woman, that’s how you move the conversation and change the way people look at women of color in film. The way to true understanding is to start a conversation, that’s why I love film is because within that hour to four hours you can start a real conversation that changes the narrative and doing so means I’ve done my job as a performer.

Her thoughts and feelings inspired the responses below…


This conversation may go over the heads of those who struggle, or refuse to, understand why the creation, casting and presentation of darker-skinned characters in fiction is so important.

Why? Not because darker-skinned actors are entitled to roles, but because their presence in mainstream art goes a long way to pull the sting out of the anti-black poison that has shaped the way people sees and treat black people.


What do you make of Shipp’s remarks?

Posted under:

Comments 28

Please Post Your Comments & Reviews

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Fancy BISH March 16, 2018

    I say get Naomi Campbell to play Storm!

    • Bam March 16, 2018

      She’d have been perfect years ago as Storms role in these films is usually just “pretty black model who controls weather”.

    • Miz Val March 28, 2018

      Megan Good, Jennifer Freeman, Camille Winbush, Keesha Fleth Sharp,Dee Dee Davis and the list goes on and on .These exceptional actresses have made the cut in Hollywood Pick one and cast away .BTW Naomi Campbell just started a new foundation in the UK for women. She may be too busy

  2. Sandra March 16, 2018

    I mean, what else can you add to this comment conversation that hasn’t been said.
    I’m confused to why she said something so stupid in the first place. She’ll probably cry the out of context line that people often do when they make mistakes they don’t realise until someone points it out

  3. Bam March 16, 2018

    Eh, storm has been “colored” many different ways the most famous way being the “Angela Bassett hue” lol. People forget that Storms father is American so she not gonna look pure Kenyan, but yes a darker would be nice in the mcu. Also Shipps storm was purposely cast to be the younger version of Halle Berry’s Storm. It’s make no sense for a dark girl to be cast in this version yet Halle berry is the older version. Really Her skin tone is the least of Storms problems under Fox…

    • Miz Val March 28, 2018

      I am new to the MCU but facts are facts Storm’s father was a WHITE man Shipp is a YOUNGER version of the character Berry played. Did anyone complain when Berry was cast ? Doubtful. Some were too busy drooling over her so called “hotness” back then. Development of the character is key .If you want the skin tone darker I’m so sure the make up department can handle it. In fact I know they can. Look what they have done for Mystique. The problem with all of Hollywood they are not letting all types audition for roles that are typecast for the tired same old, same old.

  4. China March 16, 2018

    Honestly, STORM is dark skin. STop making her a Mixed-race woman. STOP IT. Its a crime. You can’t find a BEAUTIFUL EXOTIC DARK SKIN WOMAN TO PLAY STORM. Halle and This girl brought NOTHING to the role. 100% NOTHING

  5. Ughhh March 16, 2018

    This is the stupidest thing to be mad over. She isn’t playing a historical figure in time. She is playing a fûcking superhero from a comic. Who isn’t real! Y’all find anything to be mad over.

    • Fifi March 16, 2018

      So you’re ok with Idris Elba playing James Bond then?

      • Superstar March 16, 2018

        @Fifi – I have n problem with it especially since all the Bonds have always looked different anyway.

      • SMH March 16, 2018

        @Superstar Um, no, that’s the dumbest comment on this topic. All the Bonds have not looked different, they’re all WHITE.

      • Superstar! March 16, 2018

        @SMH – It’s not a dumb comment because they have all have been WHITE but they all have been DIFFERENT. You need to go back to the Sean C days and really LOOK at them. They ALL look different babe.

    • Superstar March 16, 2018

      @Ugghh..- This woman can’t win for losing. I understand both sides. It’s getting ridiculous, but I do understand the uproar.

    • Whoops March 16, 2018

      So you wouldn’t have a problem with a white person playing black panther?? It doesn’t make sense for a light skin black person to play a dark skin black character for the same exact reason it doesn’t make sense for a white actor to play a black character. Only one is an issue of colorism, the other, racism. This doesn’t work the same way when asking if anyone would mind if a person of color played a white character (I.e. James Bond) Prinarily because there is no historical social bias against white actors or heroes.

      • Superstar! March 16, 2018

        I don’t care about Black Panther and I don’t know the story so you are directing this to the wrong person. I followed the comics but I didn’t give a crap about Black Panther because he didn’t seem cool enough power wise in the comics to me although I’m sure will beg to differ.

        In regards to this young lady, she’s Black and she’s not that light. She could totally tan. I have no problem with there being a Black, Asian or Middle Eastern Bond. James Bond is a spy. It doesn’t make a difference. NONE of the Bonds have LOOKED alike they just all were to whatever degree WHITE. Also, had you READ all of my comment I stated that I could see BOTH sides of the issue.

        It appears that when it comes to the comics, autobiographical and historical figures the AUDIENCE doesn’t want to use their imagination. They want the person playing the role to be as close to the character as possible (race and color – hue- wise). As is everyone’s issue with this woman when she played Aaliyah for instance. At some point people need to get realistic. Not EVERY character is going to RESEMBLE to a tee or even to any great degree another character. They just may be the same RACE but NOT the same COLOR (hue). Like I said I can see both sides. With that said, people just need to be more patient when it comes people EXACTLY looking like (in race, color and resemblance) historical, comic book and autobiographical figures.

        You may have people in a race AND HUE (color) that COULD do it but maybe can’t do the role justice because of a lack of talent or lack resemblance. So just wait and stop bashing everyone who may have an interest that don’t EXACTLY look like the character. The girl in the article really didn’t say anything worth bashing her over in her first comment to have that other girl go in on her like that. That other girl was just nasty.

      • Whoops March 16, 2018

        @Superstar Yeah… I wasn’t talking to you. But nonetheless, you are uninformed, you’ve proven that you don’t understand the realities of colorism, your opinions are simple, and therefore we can’t have a productive discussion, and it’s not my job to educate you. People get paid for that.

      • Superstar! March 16, 2018

        @Whoops – I don’t care who you were directing your comment to. You posted on a board and I commented, deal with it. It’s evident that you are upset that I addressed you point by point and you simply HAVE NO REBUTTAL.

        Since YOU can’t have a productive discussion you simply choose to shutdown. Good. Learn to stop the hate and bow out as gracefully as you can when you’ve been embarrassed.
        #You Won’t Be Missed

      • Whoops March 16, 2018

        Lol. You speak like a child, and children have no business partaking in adult conversations. If you weren’t, you would’ve understand the undertones of my comment that chose not to engage you because I had no rebuttal, but because to be brutally and explicitly honest, I sensed that you weren’t smart enough to understand it. And I was right. You actually addressed, none of my points, hun.

        I used Black Panther to draw a comparison between racism and colorism and you responded that you don’t care about Black Panther because he didn’t seem “cool” enough. LMAOOOO. I also literally stated that James Bond wasn’t a legitimate example and you proceeded to give your opinion on him and his looks? As if it was relevant? Then you decided to respond to a comment about colorism by saying that Alexandria is “could totally tan”. Lmfaaoooooo. And then you talked about resemblance, which, in the context of colorism, doesn’t make sense.

        You embarrassed yourself up and down that comment, sis. And I was sparing your feelings, but since you’ve made it a point throw a tantrum about someone “shutting down” and daring to not address what you think were great points, here’s your rebuttal: You’re too dumb to have this conversation.

      • Superstar! March 17, 2018

        @Whoops – Exactly. So I suggest you, being a JUVENILE and all, should know your place and as directed leave the discussion. But as expected you’ll throw a tantrum, much like you are doing now, or sit and spin. Both of which I find delightfully amusing.

        Like the immature child that you lack the intellectual capacity to engage in conversation of this type and when you try and fail to grasp what is being stated you, as is expected, act out hence the tantrum that I listed in the prior paragraph. Although you have NO response to the points that I addressed in my last (2) responses, like the juvenile that you are, you continue to engage in what is now a game called “who gets the last word.” Unfortunately for you, this too will result in you failing.

        In regards to Black Panther, I don’t care about it but it appears that people of color seem to think that this movie is the epitome of everything that is Black and possible when simply put it isn’t. Therefore, I stated that I don’t care about the movie, and I don’t because 1. I don’t find it to be the epitome of anything that is Black: not in culture, style, life representation etc and 2. Quite frankly, Black Panther as I remember it from the comics isn’t a fascinating or “cool” character. (shrugs)

        In regards to the conversation about color, race, etc. this was all addressed in my earlier postings, had you read them, but of course, being the juvenile that YOU ARE, you didn’t. (I understand that children lack the focus or desire to READ these days so it doesn’t surprise me that you would spend little to no time read my ENTIRE posting. I believe you kids today much more prefer short texts such as are the parameters for social media outlets like Twitter. Such a pity because you can’t SKIM your way through life dear.)

        In regards to my usage of James Bond as an example, it is totally appropriate. It doesn’t matter that all of the James Bonds APPEARED to be white as they represented a character and they all LOOKED different. This young lady, as I listed in my previous response, looks NOTHING like Storm, nor did Halle. She is NOT the same color (hue) as Storm, NOR was Halle. Halle is bi-racial and so is this young lady, but oddly enough no one had an issue with Halle playing the role of Storm. Why is that? What this issue has become, as I listed in my PREVIOUS response, is an issue of inner-racism, people’s inability to use their imaginations etc.

        One cannot expect that every character that will be shown in film will EXACTLY look or BE LIKE the character but this appears to be the case when it comes to comic book characters and portrayals of real life people, AGAIN, as I stated in my previous posting. Just like with ALL JAMES BONDS CHARACTERS looking different yet everyone was able to USE THEIR IMAGINATIONS and get through the movies just find. I find it quite interesting that a bi-racial woman showing interest in a movie about a comic book character is an issue, when she is BI-RACIAL as in half-Black and the other actress that played the role was TOO BI-RACIAL, half Black but that was not an issue. Now we’ve come down to color (hue) and anyone who has EVER READ THE COMICS knows that Storm is NOT ONLY BI-RACIAL but she has also had DIFFERENT SKIN TONES (hues). This entire argument is preposterous in of its self.

        Lastly, I totally agree with you and this ENTIRE posting when you stated: “You embarrassed yourself up and down that comment, sis. And I was sparing your feelings, but since you’ve made it a point throw a tantrum about someone “shutting down” and daring to not address what you think were great points, here’s your rebuttal: You’re too dumb to have this conversation.”

        I suggest you learn to be less judgment and racist and perhaps you will get further life. Once you learn to READ and process information I do believe there will be even greater hope for you and your pathetic existence.
        #You’ve Been Schooled

    • Sandra March 16, 2018

      The issue has moved on from the role and is now to do with her comments.

  6. Whoops March 16, 2018

    She’s ignorant as fvck. First she completely disregarded colorism by suggesting that it didn’t matter she’s not the same “Crayola marker” color. Then she provided examples of successful brown women (who wouldn’t agree with her btw) and used them as some sort of pathetic proof that there’s no exclusion. And proceeded to give a trash line that is so colorblind, “I’m not playing a black woman, I’m playing a woman”. Her first comment was bad but some people’s words get misconstrued. Now it’s clear. She’s actual trash.

    • Superstar! March 16, 2018

      @Whoops – No YOU are ignorant and trash. Always remember that.

      • Whoops March 16, 2018

        Aw, what happened to “stop the hate”? You’re like a 2 year old, screaming for attention. You’ve gone out of your way twice today to talk to me. And all that begging only to comeback with, “No YOU are!”. Lmao, you’re dumb as fvck, bro.

      • Superstar! March 17, 2018

        @Whoops – You’re not “like” a 2-year old looking for attention, you’ve already stated that you ARE a juvenile so that’s a given that we need to move beyond but your immaturity won’t change. Let’s deal with the facts, and they are that YOU ARE RACIST and I find it to be completely ridiculous that Black people call others racist and trash but are the MAIN CULPRITS of such bigotries within their own group.

        In regards to my postings, I, like anyone else post because this is a “discussion” board and if you don’t want to have others post on your comments then DON’T LEAVE ANY. Now I’ll leave YOU will your words of poetry: “Lmao, you’re dumb as fvck, bro.” Well said, now move forward and change your stupidity to something that will move society and this nation FORWARD because stupid is a STUPID DOES and we really don’t need more of it.
        #Make America Great – (GET SMART)

  7. SMH March 16, 2018

    Mixed & light skinned blacks just don’t get it. And either they never will or they choose to never get it.

    • Superstar! March 17, 2018

      @Smh – You sound stupid as f^ck and majorly racist. Halle is Bi-RACIAL and played the role just fine. Storm, the comic character, is actually bi-racial so what’s the problem? Black people are some of the ugliest people to walk this planet because they find it perfectly acceptable to degrade and hate on their own.

      “Mixed & light skinned blacks just don’t get it.” – How absurd! She’s a half-black woman and so was Halle, where was the outrage then?! This reminds of that movie Queen, ironically enough was about a half-Black woman, who didn’t fit in to any side – the Black or the White. She was mistreated by both. Interestingly enough Halle Berry played the role of Queen and had her skin LIGHTENED with makeup in order to play that role and there was NO UPROAR.

      This is nothing but an issue of inner-racism and “mean girls” pure and simple.

  8. Jay March 16, 2018

    Get these biracial people THEIR OWN CATEGORY. Lets see if KEKE PALMER OR LUPITA CAN PLAY BIRACIAL CHARACTERS.. then we can talk… stop inviting people to the cookout. Biracial people are NOT BLACK.

  9. Caleb March 16, 2018

    “You look at people like Lena Dunham and Issa Rae, they have been given a platform to uplift people of every race, sexuality and denomination and that’s what I strive for”

    She lost me with that Lena Dunham comment lol

Recommended Posts