“Why Are You Contouring My Nostril?” Black Canadian Actors Share Their Experiences with Hair and Make-up Discrimination

Noble, who’s white, says that many Black performers don’t need to come ahead as a result of they’re afraid of retribution. “We’ve realized that lots of BIPOC actors are ignored for roles they’re the perfect individual for, as a result of they could take too lengthy in hair or make-up. That is discrimination.”

A number of years in the past, Noble was in a make-up trailer and noticed her co-star, a Black actor, making use of her personal make-up. “I mentioned, ‘Oh my god, you look superb, I want I may do my very own make-up,'” Noble recollects. “She mentioned, ‘Oh, I by no means allow them to contact my face. They by no means have the correct colours.’ So this actor grew to become a certified make-up artist skilled below Bobbi Brown. I sat there dumbfounded as a result of it was the primary time I might heard about this.”

Finally, members hope to place stress on producers (who’re thought of the “employers” of movie and TV) to rent certified hair and make-up artists. “It is fairly easy, however our trade has gotten away with not doing that,” Noble mentioned. “Skilled hair and make-up artists are good at their jobs — they need to be certified. This can be a societal discrimination: the colleges should not instructing this, or solely masking these matters for an hour. We’re decided to eliminate this challenge in our trade.”

A consultant for the CMPA despatched a press release to Attract which learn, “The CMPA believes this is a crucial challenge, and we stay dedicated to working with ACTRA, and different trade stakeholders, together with these organizations that signify and prepare hair and make-up technicians, to make sure performers who’re Black, Indigenous, and Individuals of Coloration have equitable entry to hair and make-up providers.”

The consultant added that the CMPA “labored collaboratively” with ACTRA on the finish of 2021 to agree on tips for offering hair and make-up providers for performers of shade. These finest practices had been launched through bulletin and might be read here.

The AQPM didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Attract spoke with two Black performers who’re on ACTRA variety boards and one Black make-up artist who has labored within the trade for 20 years about their experiences on set. 

Angela Moore

Angela Moore has been an expert actor for over 25 years in movie, TV, and theater. Notable performances embody visitor starring in Netflix’s A Sequence of Unlucky Occasions, principal roles in Amazon’s The Stand and Netflix’s Maid, supporting lead in Lifetime’s The Christmas Aunt and recurring on ABC’s The Good Physician and A Million Little Issues. In 2016, she was nominated for a Leo Award within the Greatest Actress class for the net collection, CODED. She is at the moment recurring as Darlene Fowler in The CW’s Nancy Drew. Angela at the moment serves as an Government Board Director at UBCP/ACTRA, Chair of the BIPOC Committee, and co-chair of the Girls’s Committee. 

Black Canadian Actors Share Their Experiences with Hair and Makeup Discrimination on Set
Courtesy Angela Moore

The hair and make-up trailer is commonly recognized by performers as the perfect a part of their day. You get to go in there, and so they’re taught to make you are feeling comfy and pampered. The pinnacle of the division desires to make you are feeling assured and do your hair and make-up to form your character. Folks additionally use that point to mentally prep, too. You’re employed in your strains. You’ve got an hour within the trailer so that you need to sit down, calm down, evaluation your scene, and benefit from the course of. However once you are available in there questioning how issues are going to go for you — I’d stay alert as to how my hair is being dealt with or my make-up is being utilized. I not often have the arrogance that I’m going to be handled adequately until I acknowledge a Black hairstylist as somebody I’ve labored with earlier than. However that is the exception, that is not the rule.


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