Thandiwe Newton issued a public apology” to darker-skinned actresses” for not representing them.
Newton made the apology live on-air during an interview with Sky News.
Her new movie, “God’s Country,” is an adaptation of James Lee Burke’s 1992 short story “Winter Light” about a college professor who faces off with two hunters who trespass on her property in Montana.
In the book, the main character in the story is an older white man. The movie adaptation sees Newton as the lead role. The actress shared that she was initially hesitant to accept the role due to the complexion of her skin.
“My internalized prejudice was stopping me from feeling like I could play this role when it’s precisely that prejudice that I’ve received,” she told the British news outlet. “Doesn’t matter that it’s from African-American women more than anyone else, doesn’t matter. I received prejudice. Anyone who’s received oppression and prejudice feels this character.”
She went on to say that she wished to apologize to “darker-skinned actresses” for the opportunities she’s accepted over the years.
“I’m sorry that I’m the one chosen. My mama looks like you. My mom looks like you,” she said as she wept. “It’s been very painful to have women look like my mum feel like I’m not representing them — that I’m taking from them, taking their men, taking their work, taking their truth. I didn’t mean to.”
In the movie, Newton revealed the reason her “God’s Country” character is named “Sandra.”
“For a good five (years) I’ve been supporting Kimberly Crenshaw’s work with the African American Policy Forum and movement ‘Say Her Name,’ which she coined,” Newton said in a separate interview with Variety. “And in this movie, right from the get-go, we are saying her name. I don’t mean just about Sandra Bland. I’m talking about all the ‘Sandra Blands.’ Now and in the past.”