Nia Long Says Netflix Movie ‘A Fatal Affair’ Lacked Diversity: Only 3 People On The Crew Were Black
Nia Long feels as though her latest film, Netflix’s A Fatal Affair, which features her and Omar Epps, as the leads could have been more diverse.
The movie which had a Black cast, was written by Black writers and featured a Black subject matter, was directed by a White man.
Nia Long, who is also listed as a producer on the movie, says that the film did not intend to have a Black-led cast.
After Nia Long agreed to star in the film, she adds that Black screenwriter, Rasheeda Garner, was hired to give the script a boost.
“I understand and respect our director, who is a white man. He wanted to be respectful of my voice and I appreciate that. And that’s why he hired Rasheeda. So although it gave her an opportunity, I want more. I want more for her, I want more for myself, I want more for black female writers and directors in this business to not be used to fix something but to be used to tell our stories in a really authentic way.”
Nia Long adds that she hopes this experience will lead to Rasheeda Garner getting more opportunities, not just because the movie has a Black lead.
“Rasheeda and I have since become friends and I think she’s a wonderful writer. The flipside of that is I hope and pray that she gets the opportunity to be in the forefront and not brought on because the lead of the film is Black.”
“She should be able to write and tell stories as an African-American woman in this industry.”
Nia Long adds that she was disappointed that only 3 people on the crew were Black.
“In all honesty, I was disappointed that there were maybe three people on the crew that were Black, but that really is the production company’s responsibility, not the network. By the time I arrived, they were a happy family that had done several films together.”
The actress says that her feelings on diversity aren’t just about the recent film, but the entire film industry.
“This isn’t about ‘Fatal Affair,’ this is about a system. This is a systemic issue in Hollywood that has yet to be addressed in a fair way.”
She adds that she wants more for her peers as well,
“I can’t be the only girl holding the torch, I’ve burned my fingers a lot standing up for what I believe in. Being outspoken. I will be the first person to say I want everyone to have a good time, this isn’t me being self-serving, this is about how can we all push forward and be better?”
Nia Long recently revealed that she was cut from the runnings after she auditioned for the role of Alex Munday in the 2000 blockbuster “Charlie’s Angels”. Nia Long said that the film’s crew felt she looked too old to star in the action favorite. Nia commented:
“I was like, ‘What?’ I love Drew Barrymore, I think she’s amazing, but I think that was just a nice way to say you’re a little too Black. Personally, that’s what I think. Because if you notice there were no brown skin [actors]. I mean, honestly, I would have been the blackest thing in the film.”
Lucy Liu, who’s two years older than Nia Long, ended up landing the role. She continued:
“The feedback that I received from my agent was, ‘She just looked too old and sophisticated to be next to Drew Barrymore.’ And I’m thinking to myself, it’s an actor’s choice to walk in the room how they want to look, but it’s a director’s vision to help create and curate a character. So if you couldn’t see beyond the fact that I had on a blazer and a pair of jeans then that was clearly not the job and opportunity for me. So, no problem, I’ll keep it moving.“
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