By Sara M. Moniuszko – Thandie Newton is opening up about her experience with stereotyping in Hollywood.
During an interview with Vulture, which published Tuesday, the English actress, 47 recounted a meeting she had with Amy Pascal, a film producer and former Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman.
“I had a meeting with her, and she said, ‘Look, I don’t mean to be politically incorrect, but the character as written and you playing the role, I just feel like we’ve got to make sure that it’s believable.’ I was like, ‘What do you mean? What changes would you have to make?’ ” Newton said. “She’s like, ‘Well, you know, the character, as written, she’s been to university and is educated.’ “
She continued, “I’m like, ‘I’ve been to university. I went to Cambridge.’ She went, ‘Yeah, but you’re different.’ She’s like, ‘Maybe there could be a scene where you’re in a bar and she gets up on a table and starts shaking her booty.’ She’s basically reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a Black character.”
Newton says she turned down everything Pascal suggested.
In a statement to the outlet, Pascal said she was “horrified to hear” Newton’s description of the meeting.
“While I take her words seriously, I have no recollection of the events she describes, nor do any of her representatives who were present at that casting session,” Pascal’s statement continued. “I’ve long considered Thandie a friend; I’m thankful that I’ve had the chance to make movies with her; and I hope to work with her again in the future.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Pascal’s rep for comment.