Kelli Amirah previously shared in TikTok videos that the makeup team from the show was ‘putting me in blackface’ by making her face and her hands look darker to match another actress’ skin tone.
AceShowbiz -HBO has addressed the accusations leveled at it by a “Lovecraft Country” extra, who claimed that the makeup artists darkened her skin. In a statement that was issued on Monday, March 8, the cable network responded to Kelli Amirah’s experience while working for the hit show.
“We were very disappointed to learn of Ms. Amirah’s experience,” a spokesperson for the network shared. HBO also assured that it would make sure that “this should not have happened, and we are taking steps to ensure this doesn’t occur again in the future.”
Kelli first claimed in February that the makeup team from the show was “putting me in blackface” by making her face and her hands look darker to match another actress’ skin tone. “I notice my foundation is getting darker and darker,” she shared in a TikTok video. “I was so uncomfortable. I had no idea they were going to do this to me. And if I knew beforehand, I would not have accepted the job. Who thought that this was a good idea?”
“I have no clout, no pull, no nothing. This job is the first time I’ve ever had my own lil trailer on set,” the 23-year-old, who appeared as a young version of Carol Sutton‘s Osberta in an old photo of her wedding day, added. “I’m getting special treatment, sitting in between the big leagues.”
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Later on March 6, Kelli elaborated her experience in a series of posts on her Twitter account. “I’ve been getting a lot of very valid critiques for my complacency in allowing Lovecraft Country to darken my skin as a photo double for some set photography briefly featured in an episode. It’s uncomfortable but it’s not wrong. I was weak and complacent in that moment,” she began her thread.
“I always thought that ethically I would never be the type of light skinned actress stealing roles better suited for darker women. I don’t submit for things that I *know* aren’t a fit for me,” she went on to say. “In the instance of Lovecraft, I applied for a casting for a 20-25 year old African American woman to play the younger version of a character in her wedding photo. No audition, just an online submission and booking.”
Kelli mentioned that “there was no mention of me being too light when I was caster nor when I went in for my fitting days before. And it wasn’t until I was in the chair that I overheard the muas discussing it. Even then, I thought ‘maybe they just meant a couple shades’ I’m sure it won’t be much more than a tan. And then they just kept painting me darker.”
“Now as this was happening I had so many conflicting thoughts in my head. This is wrong. Why did they hire me. I should say something. What would I say? What would happen? If I hold up this production how much money goes down the drain. What will be my repercussions?” Kelli wondered. “But yeah, the entertainment industry needs to do better. I need to do better. I didn’t show up in the way I should have, and again, I’m sorry for that.”
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