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Gabrielle Union’s role as Isis in the 2000 cheerleader flick “Bring It On,” is iconic.
But in a recent interview, the Hollywood actress says she feels she failed Isis by not allowing her character to be angry.
“I chose respectability and to be classy and take the high road, because I felt like that would make her be appropriate – the right kind of Black girl..,” she explained during an interview with “Good Morning America.”
She continued, “Black girls aren’t allowed to be angry. Certainly not demonstratively angry, and I muzzled [Isis].”
Black women and girls are often portrayed as being “angry” or “aggressive.” At one point and time, it seemed the word “attitude” became synonymous with anything to do with women of color — Black women in particular.
She says that it really didn’t matter how classy she tried to be… Isis still became the villain of the movie.
“I was still a villain in that movie for making her want accountability for the theft of their work product and the cultural appropriation. I did all that shape-shifting for a character, and then I realized I was doing that to myself too. I wasn’t allowing myself the full range of my humanity,” Gabrielle confessed.
She said she only realized her mistake while sitting on panels last year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the movie during a discussion about a possible movie sequel.
“If she could go back in time, she says she would not have taken the same path.
“I would have allowed her her full humanity, and part of being a full human is the ability to express rage when harmed. When you don’t really allow yourself your full range of emotion and you muzzle your own emotions, it allows people to think, ‘Maybe what I did wasn’t that bad.’ I would have given her all.”