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Regina King Is Very Upset At Hollywood!

Hollywood

Here is an open letter that actress Regina King wrote to the Huffington Post, and we can tell you that she had to be very upset to actually submit this letter. Anyway, after watching the Emmy telecast Ms. King fired off this letter to the Post (and probably other outlets) to express her concern on the race issues that seem plague the voting system of the Award telecasts.

Here is the letter below!

Since the Emmy ceremony, I have been going back and forth about whether or not I should compose this letter. I try hard in my daily life not to engage in uncomfortable situations regarding race. But sometimes it’s very difficult to find other reasons that better explain why certain events play out the way they do. It is impossible for me to ignore the published statistics regarding the number of people of color mentioned, celebrated or honored in the history of the televised Emmys. Up to and including this year, there have been only 53 non-white actors nominated for Emmys out of nearly 1,000 possible nominations in the top four acting categories for drama and comedy.

I’ve worked in television nearly all of my professional life, and that statistic is quite sobering to me. And to add injury to my already sensitive nerve endings a picture of Rutina Wesley from True Blood, who attended this year’s Emmys, had a caption that read: “Regina King enters the 62nd Emmys.” No, I wasn’t there. Mistakes happen, right? Well after a few “mistakes” of how people of color are portrayed in the Hollywood media, I decided it was important to say something about how things go down in Hollywood.

The initial pull on my heart strings was not seeing the veteran Sesame Street actress Alaina Reed Hall included in this year’s memoriam. I know I am taking it somewhat personally because of the history I shared with her, but then I stopped to think about the fact that she was on Sesame Street for 12 years, a show that is an American institution. People of all ages and generations have seen and enjoyed this highly influential television show. You have to admit, to not recognize her contribution to television baffles the mind. I first wondered, maybe I had turned my head quickly and missed seeing Alaina’s picture scroll past the screen or she was mentioned later. But no such luck.

I am assuming other actors have lost someone close to them who weren’t recognized during that segment of previous Emmy telecasts. So I will take the stats about people of color out of my complaint and pose an essential question on behalf of any television artist of note working in our business. What is the process in determining who will and will not be recognized during the Emmy memoriam?

End.

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32 Comments

  1. Bernadette Holder

    Wow… I think this letter is long overdue and tragic at the same time – that it even has to be written. So many times race has played a major part in Hollywood, but it’s kept quiet for the most part.

    I’m extremely proud of Regina King for not keeping silent about something that means so much to her and so many others.

    Hopeful of change,
    BH

    • Cinti

      Silence is death! Shine a light on these injustices to prevent them from ever happening again.

  2. Neosho

    I, too, am proud of Regina and am glad it was her that put this issue out there. She has longevity and a quality body of work which will force people to take her concerns seriously. I am mad that she didnt get a nod for SouthLAnd, but clearly, they were not looking for people of color to nominate.

    I look forward to Hollywood’s response.

    *fist in the air*

  3. Shawnna

    I am glad someone had the nerve to say what needs to be heard (read).

    I hope they take heed to the words!

    Thanks Regina. I have always considered you a class act.

  4. Bridget

    And you wonder why so many people of color have issues with shows like this? Shows that only give people of color an award if they’re portraying a thug, hooker, dead-beat or anything else negative? Its not that I NEVER watch these shows…But, I tend to never remember about them either…I usually have to just catch them or write it down if I happen to want to see a particular person. I dont go out of my way to watch the BET awards either or the other so called African American award shows…Until more of them have more sense when it comes to who gets what..I doubt I will go out of my way to watch any of them..{With the rare occasion, I will watch the Soul Train Awards..but I havent watched those in so long I dont even know if or when it comes on}

  5. Sammy Jackson

    I’m proud and support ms.king because there many black actor and actress who work double hard.never been mention yet along win an award.who are we kiddin this type of system been happen far as long as i can remember the good O’Boys staying in control as long as they can.it never was about your talent or hard work.there have been great people who have been on the screen let us stop looking at the color of the skin and watch skills of their talent.

  6. Alisha Lenz

    Finally! a women stands up and speaks out about the inequality in television. I too am happy that she spoke on the issue. I wonder if Alfred Charles Sharpton, Jr. will have a comment on what she wrote, since he always has something to say.

    “Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.” ~Irene Peter

    I hope that things change in television for minorities. And I hope Ms.King will be the cause of it.

    • al b.

      Don’t hate on al Sharpton . Al has been on the forefront of white hollywood long b-4 now. If you don’t have something nice to say about our leaders then don’t say anything.

  7. Alisha Lenz

    * meant to spell woman not women.

  8. guy torry

    I live a block and a half from LA Live were the Emmy’s took place, but felt millions of miles away. I agree with everything Regina has said. We’ve been friends since ’92 and she has always respected the craft and the business. So, for her to write this letter means she’s really offended and has every right to be. Most would be afraid, in fear of being “Black Listed”, no pun intended, but I’m proud of you for standing up. I’ve been saying these things for years on Bill Maher’s “Politcally Incorrect” and on stage in my stand up. I feel we’re invisible. I think it’s fear. But it’s not just Hollywood’s fault, we share some of the blame as well. That’s a deeper topic, but the blame is mostly the biz!

  9. Darius Bradford ( formerly of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show )

    Well said Regina.

  10. C Walker

    I am proud of her too. It is sad that this had to be written but not a big surprise for me. For many years whites in Hollywood have all but ignored African-American contributions to the industry. That is why it is important to support our shows…like the NAACP Image Awards and so on because those are the places were we can be recognized by our peers and our own.

  11. Leftist

    Things will never change. This is the system in Amerika. If you notice commercials on TV today a majority don’t even include African American Males. Instead they have replaced us with Indian or Latin Males.

    I don’t really care about awards as they don’t mean anything anyways.

  12. Cj Privott

    thank you Ms. King!!!!!

    As an actress myself of color the roles my agent sends me have omitted AA 18 to 25 females. I have seen mixed, biracial, lightskinned, spanish, ect..

    So many concerns for us in the acting world…

  13. Mychaeltodd

    Well said,”Do Not Pass Me Bye!”.

  14. Andrea B.

    I agree with every thing Ms. King has said. I wonder if it will make any change in the system. I would hope so, but reality is not always what we hope for. Are the powers that be even listening?

  15. George Jansen

    GREAT LETTER BUT IT WILL LAND ON WHITE HOLLYWOOD LIKE WATER ON A DUCK. UNTIL OUR BLACK MOVERS AND SHAKERS, I.E. WINFREY, PUFFY, M. JORDAN, OBAMA(POST POTUS), L. JAMES, R. KING, D. WASHINGTON, MONIQUE, J. FOXX, PERRY, COSBY, MURPHY, C. ROCK, M. BLIGE, MOST OF BLACK AMERICA, ETC. ETC. POOL OUR RESOURCES TOGETHER….THIS SXXX WILL KEEP HAPPENING FOR THE NEXT 100 EMMY’S/AA

  16. Eli

    I admire what you had to say regarding the Emmy’s Ms.King and that is one and the main reason I stop looking at the awards years ago.Its too bad that they don’t nominate are award minorities as much as non-minorities. Thanks for your letter and maybe the powers in charge may make a difference in the future.

  17. Vernon Johnson

    In Hollywood and in every hood in American, including the the white hoods, we will continue to see this imbalance of power favoring white American. We want it to be fair and equal but being strong and powerful is more of what Hollywood is about. Black Hollywood has more power than we thing. We are just so quick to cream it out with what we are brainwashed to think; If you want to succeed to the top, white Hollywood is the way to go. Who says we need the respect of White Hollywood. We have enough black dollars to build, film, and house what ever and how ever we want. We are in the position to show them how it should be done. I have sent this challenge out before to many arenas including the likes of Hollywood. It’s not about being separate but about not depending on sources we don’t believe in to give us what we know they won’t. Regina King is absolutely right; they should recognize the work of some brilliant black performances, but they won’t so what should we do about it. Maybe a paridigm has come before us.

  18. Tieuel Legacy!

    Stand Up! Tieuel

  19. Rosa

    I am so happy that Regina took a stand it was long overdue…….

  20. Regine

    Well said Ms.Regina King,

    I like many who feel as you do look forward to being part of the process that changes America’s view, granted we cannot make people do what they do not want to, but we certainly can demand respect and refuse to be ignored, people of color have to stand together… socioeconomic background should not be a factor. Our voices need to be heard and we must peak up and let those who are responsible for the Emmy’s etc know that YES, we are here, we noticed and we do not like this at all…
    Thank you again for your letter, you wrote what many of us have thought of often…

    Be blessed!

  21. lenoir

    I appreciate the note that LEFTIST made how AA males are being systematically(my word) eliminated in most films and commercials. It’s a good thing that all-black or mostly black productions use AA males, otherwise you’d think they were extinct. Also they’re replacing AA men and women with these “I can’t tell for sure what they are”, people. They look like an Afrihispanasian mix so they can say they have practically all ethnic groups covered, a three-for-one if you will. Note also that the 70’s and 80’s was the height of AA’s visibility. It was like one HAD to have a black in all real life situations. Now there is a reversal of that trend. At least in the “racist” 30’s and 40’s blacks were used as,like in real life, butlers,maids,elevator operators, etc…. I guess now racist of the industry figure blacks complain about subservient roles, so we won’t use any blacks at all. And lastly,note that in commercials, you get more money when you speak. Notice most blacks don’t speak in some commercials.I bet the amount of their check is smaller.

  22. Tina Graham

    It’s about time someone said something about the racism in Hollywood. Maybe they will DO something about it now. You go girl.

  23. E

    Almost like Black Men not being recognized by our Sisters, didn’t regina king write a article about sisters dating outside their race?, if she did not, I am wrong. just thought I would bring that up. On 2 the Hollywood/Hollycracker situation, does not surprise me one bit. Through the history of Black People in the US, we have never gotten the credit we deserve. from the inventions we did, the light bulb, the elevator, the traffic light and many more patents the we discovered and they took credit for. This is a pattern and as long as they, U know who is @ the helm, we will continue not, too get the credit we deserve.

  24. N G McKenzie

    Thank You. Letter was Long over due.

  25. Jaitel

    Oddly enough, I turned off the Emmy’s this year again because to me it looked like there was no black audience and no black recipients. I beleive I told my husband the next day, that I saw 2 hispanics on the carpet and that was it. Please tell me if I am wrong. Regina, as for your valid and notable concern you are right to and I am glad you spoke up. Thank you for being offended enough to do so. I too loved Alaina too.

  26. Rachel Arrington

    Regina is right! I think if more people would stand up like she did and write a letter, not just one letter but keep them coming until there is a change! There is power in numbers! More PEOPLE! More POWER! More CHANGE!

  27. Exie Booker

    We Need to make are own Hollywood..

  28. T. LaShawn

    I believe she did no wrong, when you have God on your side you don’t have to worry so much about the workings of people.

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