It’s been 20 years since Bring It On made its debut in theaters, and Gabrielle Union still has lots to say about her breakout role and her iconic character, Clovers head cheerleader Isis.
During a recent interview, Gabrielle Union pointed out that Isis was painted as the “angry Black woman.”
“It’s interesting because I once saw this poll someone made of great cinema villains and Isis was one of them. I was like, when the f**k did I become a villain? Why is she a villain? For wanting accountability? Does calling someone out make you a villain? When Black women ask for accountability, no matter the tone, some people hear aggression or rage. They make me the angry, Black woman versus someone whose work and intellectual property has been stolen, repackaged, and used to win national championships.”
Gabrielle Union added that the popular movie was ahead of its time, and showed White people the reality of cultural appropriation.
“Bring It On is a fun teen movie, but there’s so much more when you pull back the layers. It allows White people to see themselves as complicit in cultural appropriation, but the takeaway for Black audiences or marginalized audiences are so different. It told them, ‘You’re not crazy. Your emotional, spiritual, and physical labor has been stolen and repackaged. Cultural appropriation is real and the lack of credit for your work and labor is real.’”
Gabrielle Union added that she tried to stay from any White-savior themes in the movie.
“I didn’t want to be saved and I didn’t want the Clovers to be indebted. I wouldn’t have been okay with being saved by anyone else. That’s me in real life and that’s me in Bring It On. I do not find the concept of “Great White Hope” or white-savior movies appealing or entertaining in the least. I don’t like them, I don’t watch them, and I certainly don’t want to be in them if I can at all help it, so that scene was necessary. The Clovers had been doing it on their own this whole time and they weren’t about to accept the Toros’ guilt money.”
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Last year, she hosted an epic Halloween/Birthday party where she wore an imitation Clovers uniform. She says that Universal wouldn’t let her borrow it so she had to go another route (to her surprise, her cousin Saweetie rocked the same outfit!)
“No! I asked Universal to borrow it and they wouldn’t give it up. I mean, it should be in the f**king Smithsonian. But my stylist Thomas Christos had replicas made in two days. What’s crazy is that my little cousin DD—that’s what we call Saweetie—came out in a Clovers uniform at our Halloween party to surprise me! I didn’t know she was performing and she had no idea I was gonna be wearing the same costume. “
“It was so dope. I mean, great minds think alike, great families think alike. She’s literally 20 years younger than me, from a whole different generation of cousins, so for whatever reason, I don’t think people believed she was my real cousin, but she’s an actual blood relative. I’m so proud of her. She’s my first stop if I ever need a kidney. “
What are your thoughts on Gabrielle Union’s views on Bring It On? Let us know in the comments!