With diversity in Hollywood and #OscarsSoWhite being hot button topics these days, many celebrities are speaking out about what can be done to make the industry a more welcoming place for people of color.
According to Disney Channel actress Zendaya, who has a black father and a white mother, now is the time to address the lack of diversity in entertainment and for those with power to do something about it.
“I think it’s action. It’s all action. It’s about not being afraid of having this conversation and to speak up,” she told Celebuzz at a party for her shoe collection, Daya by Zendaya, in Los Angeles on Friday night. “I’m glad people are talking about it. I’m glad that it’s being spoken about. That’s why we have these conversations — so we can grow and get better.”
So, what advice can she give to women of color who are trying to break into an industry that doesn’t necessarily recognize their hard work because of their gender and race?
“Do not take no for an answer,” Zendaya said. “There’s this line in Scandal where Papa Pope [played by Joe Morton] tells Olivia [Kerry Washington] that you have to work that many times harder than anyone else. It’s just the truth. You can’t take no for an answer. You’ve got to keep breaking down those doors because you never know where it’s going to lead.”
Zendaya also tells us that she’s glad that some companies are making changes to represent diversity. Not only did the 19-year-old have a Barbie made in her image — dreadlocks and all — as part of Mattel’s initiative to have the doll represent people of all shape, size, and color, but it recently announced that the 19-year-old will also be the newest face of CoverGirl,
“I’m very excited,” she said. “I’m really proud to be a part of a company that celebrates diversity and has so many types of women recreating what a CoverGirl actually means. It’s very cool.”
“I’m very glad to see this all happen,” she added of the news that Barbie will now have tall, petite, and curvy body types in various skin colors. “It’s definitely time.”