Tyrese Gibson is getting real about the reality of Hollywood.
The “F9” star recently discussed his experiences with colorism in the film business and how he reportedly lost out on roles to friend Terrence Howard.
“Terrence Howard has no idea how many roles that I was about to book and they went with him because he’s the lighter-skinned black man with the green eyes,” the 42-year-old claimed to Leah A. Henry, the host of radio show Leah’s Lemonade. “It’s crazy to me, like, I’m No. 1. I’m the star. I’m this blue-black, you know, all of the things that I was laughed about in the ‘hood.”
The rapper-turned-actor added, “And then you look at Lupita [Nyong’o] and the Viola Davises of the world, and there is this kind of, this shift that has happened. I think we should all stay humble because it’s interesting how white people created this kind of colorism. The mixed-race gets to be in the house and the black blacks get to work in the hot sun and pick cotton.”
He also opened up about his younger years and experiencing colorism as a child.
“Throughout my whole childhood, it was not cool to be dark skin in the hood. It was always the light-skinned black people that seemed to have gotten all the attention and all the love and considered pretty, or attractive, or handsome,” he said. “And since I’ve been in Hollywood we dealt with the same thing.”
However, there’s no bad blood between the two pals. Gibson said that he recommended the “Empire” star for a role in his upcoming thriller, “The System.” Gibson produces as well as stars in the new film.
“We’re able to joke about it now. I was the star of the film. They had an idea to go with someone else, who I won’t mention, and then I suggested Terrence Howard,” the “Transformers” actor explained. “And he thanked me for like, a week straight.”