As actors and actresses continue to come forward about mistreatment in Hollywood, Stargirl actress Anjelika Washington has revealed perhaps one of the most shocking and damning stories from a series set. In a post on Instagram, Washington wrote about her time appearing as a guest star in a series, which she does not name but appears to be the go90 series Versus. During her time on the series Washington revealed that her stunt double was a white woman painted to appear black. After confronting the series' producer about this, Washington says she was told that a Black stunt double couldn't be found and that she "should be thankful to be here.”
"I immediately started to question myself," Washington wrote. "'Do I sound ungrateful? Am I complaining? Maybe this is just how it is?' So I said 'okay.', I sat down in my chair, shut up, and tried to think positive thoughts. (Hence my smile in this photo) But really, I felt powerless, voiceless, and somehow ungrateful.... Anyone who knows me knows that 'grateful' is one of my favorite words and feelings. So in this moment I felt like somehow I was in the wrong for speaking up for myself. But NO, she was wrong."
"See, there’s this oppressive thing that often happens when everyone and everything are ran by white people on sets (and in any industry) where they try to manipulate POC into just being GRATEFUL to be there. They do this to us because they know that they *literally* run the show. They feel like a savior for giving a young black girl a role in their show, even though most times it’s just to check a box. They often don’t check to see if we are comfortable with what they are asking of us, they often call us unprofessional or a diva for advocating for ourselves, and most times they get away with paying us wayyy less than our costars.... This is why being inclusive and hiring POC in front of the camera and behind it, is extremely imperative."
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Washington wrote that she "kicked ass" in her action scenes, resulting in the stunt double not even being used. She added that the entire time she performed her own stunts that she had to be great and even "better than great," that she was determined to make sure know one found out about the stunt performer.
In the comments of her post, Washington concluded that she is making a vow "to never allow these types of micro & macro aggressions to happen" to her again.
"And you should not either," she added. "We must value ourselves higher even if they call us a diva. We must use our voice even if they call us loud. We must demand equality even if they call us ungrateful. The next generation depends on us. #blacklivesmatter."