Representational television shows and films are still too few and not where they should be, and starring in just one of them can burden actors of color — just ask the Handmaid’s Tale star Samira Wiley.
Wiley recently spoke with Self about how difficult she finds it to deal with that kind of responsibility.
“It can feel overwhelming sometimes, representing so much for so many people at such a crazy time. But I feel like as artists, we have a responsibility to represent the times we live in. When you have a platform and so many people looking up to you, I feel like it’s your responsibility to step up to the plate.”
There’s still such limited representation that actresses of color and LGBT celebrities like Samira Wiley are forced to take on a second role of “stepping up to the plate” when they choose their projects. And honestly, that’s just not fair to the actresses.
The Handmaid’s Tale and Orange is the New Black are two of the most powerful projects for representation in recent years and Samira has done an amazing job of becoming a role model both on and off screen. And while she obviously finds the task exhausting at times, at the end of the day, she’s still grateful for the opportunity. Wiley recently told THR,
“To be honest, I have been very blessed to be a part of two different shows that have hit the public consciousness in a way that I never thought would.”
We’re excited to watch Wiley get recognized for her work this Sunday (she’s up for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series!), whether she takes home a weird little golden statue or not.
Anne Catherine Demere is an intern with Femestella. She is almost too passionate about pop culture and the entertainment industry and she loves to write about it. One of her favorite things is when feminism and pop culture overlap. She’s either starting a new TV show or in class, there’s no in between. And those two rarely coincide.