EXCLUSIVE: TV Host Nina Parker Talks Being A Black Woman In the Entertainment Industry, The On-Air Chemistry She Has With “Nightly Pop” Co-Hosts & Essential Career Advice
In an exclusive interview with theJasmineBRAND.com, E!’s Nightly Pop co-host Nina Parker opened up about some of the challenges she faced as a black woman in the entertainment industry. Nina Parker has been in the industry for years and has done many things from working at TMZ to hosting Love & Hip-Hop reunions. She shared with theJasmineBRAND that even though her E! experience has been amazing, that type of treatment isn’t something she’s experienced since the start of her career. She said,
“E! has been fantastic with me. So, they really give me the opportunity to say ‘this is working, this isn’t working [or] how can we make this space comfortable for you?’ I’ll say this though, it takes a really long time to get to that place in the industry. So when you first start out most places aren’t willing to kind of lay all that out for you. Right now I’m in a place where, you know, if being on-air talent as a black person, a black woman, a plus-sized black woman, it can really wreak havoc on your spirit and your mind. Because people are so critical if you don’t look like a cookie-cutter version. Like I can look like somebody’s cousin that they see every day but if they see me on TV they feel that I don’t deserve to be there because of my weight size.”
EXCLUSIVE: TV Host Nina Parker Talks About The Challenges She Faces Being On Air Talent, As A Black Woman pic.twitter.com/RyJ3cXwxnr
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“So that’s a hard thing to fight against that I feel like my size zero white co-star doesn’t have to really deal with. Most of the people who’ve been on TV look like her. Most of the white men on tv look like my other co-star. I have those images in my head sometimes when I’m just prepping for my show. Sometimes it makes me feel like ‘dang I can’t even just worry about the content because I have to worry about are people going to talk about me if I wear this? if I do this? If I’m opinionated am I going to look angry?’ These are things that people who don’t have those stereotypes- they don’t have to worry about that.”
Nina Parker, who hosts the show with Morgan Stewart and Hunter March added,
“When you’re white on camera you’re not speaking for all white people. But when you’re black on camera you speak for all black people as far as black people are concerned. If [you’re] black and you say something ignorant on tv they’re gonna say ‘You’re making us look bad.’”
E!’s Nightly Pop covers all things pop culture and airs weeknights at 11:30 pm PST. Although Nina and her co-hosts have great chemistry on-air, she revealed to theJasmineBRAND that they had to learn each other and she had to work through some cultural differences with Hunter March.
“We had to learn each other. And now I feel like they really know [and] they really understand me. I will say there was a cultural thing that Hunter admits that he said like you know he’s a white man and there were things that we would talk about where he just didn’t understand or temperaments or things. Where I’d be like ‘I’m passionate, I’m not angry and you need to understand that’ and I would take it and make it a teachable moment.”
She added that things between them are more than fine now.
“Now it’s like he’s my work husband. He’s like ‘oh this means Nina’s just this or that.’ He speaks my language now, but it was… you know, it was growing pains for a little bit.”
During her exclusive interview with us, Nina addressed people who feel that her job as a television host is easy. She said,
“It’s like an art to making things look like it’s not a lot of work. I think as a good TV host people will say ‘I can do that.’”
“People didn’t understand, like when I was doing ‘Love & Hip-Hop’ I literally had a control booth full of people talking to me in my ear. A full prompter to read. A full studio audience of at least 50 to 60 people and four couches of cast members where I had to follow their conversations. So if I can make that look easy to you then that means I’m doing my job. Because if you saw me doing this and looking all around and you would realize how difficult it really is to like maintain that attention and command when it’s so many moving pieces.”
According to Nina Parker, anyone who wishes to follow in her career steps should be prepared to ‘take a leap of faith, eliminate the excuses, and outwork everybody.’ She added to her three golden rules and said,
“If you can find an excuse you will find a reason not to get that bag- if you know what I mean. If you can find a reason why you need to be doing it, you go get all the bags you can. I promise you, you’ll have time to celebrate and relax and live the life you want to live but first, you gotta work.”
What are your thoughts on what Nina Parker shared with theJasmineBrand? Let us know in the comments.