AceShowbiz - Priyanka Chopra has opened up about her experience of being discriminated because of her skin color. It made her aware of the fact that there were additional barriers that women of color face in Hollywood. In an interview with In Style, she revealed that she lost a role in a movie because of her skin color.
"It happened last year," the 35-year-old actress began. "I was out for a movie, and somebody [from the studio] called one of my agents and said, 'She's the wrong-what word did they used?-physicality.' "
As she did not know what "physicality" actually referred to, she thought that her frame was the one considered "wrong." She added, "So in my defense as an actor, I'm like, 'Do I need to be skinnier? Do I need to get in shape? Do I need to have abs?' Like, what does 'wrong physicality' mean?" She continued, "And then my agent broke it down for me. Like, 'I think, Priy, they meant that they wanted someone who's not brown.' " Priyanka admitted, "It affected me."
That was not the first experience for Priyanka to be discriminated. The winner of the 2000 Miss World also stated that her school experience in the United States was filled with vicious bullying, name-calling and sexism. She added, "No one will say that a woman is getting paid less because she's a woman of color, but the numbers mostly end up reflecting that." She argued that film industry should look at somebody's ability to deliver the job given, rather than physicality.
Priyanka then admitted that she knew exactly how much she's worth on a project. "I'm a producer, so I understand how much of an asset, as an actor, I would be on a project. So when I talk money, I'm not going to be asking for ridiculous amounts that I might not be able to bring back. It starts with me being logical and saying, 'I deserve that much in remuneration. These are the returns that I see myself bringing to the table.' And, usually most people come around when you place it like that," she shared.
In the interview, she also talked about some ways to close the gap between men and women. "I think one of the big steps is to first of all recognize it. I see a lot of people explaining why the pay gap exists. Producers have told me, 'Well, when you have even the biggest actress in a movie, it still doesn't make the returns that it would if you cast a guy,' " the actress explained.
The "Baywatch" actress thought that a part of responsibility in closing the gap fell on viewers. "People don't go watch females in movies because they don't believe that they can be heroes. The world has to change the way they look at their heroes. Specifically how men can help is changing the 'locker-room talk' conversation. Nothing will change until we break the stereotypes of gender in our normal, day-to-day life," she said.