feature: fed up with anti-black casting practices, zoë kravitz pursues diy filmmaking

March 21, 2016

Usually relegated to the “quirky black best friend” or exaggerated interpretations of her real-life bohemian image, talented musician, actress, and genetic lottery winner Zoë Kravitz has grown sick of Hollywood’s anti-black casting bullshit. With nearly 10 years of industry experiences under her belt, Zoë Kravitz is done putting up with the narrow-minded stereotypical casting that she (and every other actor of color) endures in the film industry.

Last year, Kravitz told Nylon that she was denied an audition for The Dark Knight Rises because of her ethnic background. “…they told me that I couldn’t get an audition for a small role they were casting because they weren’t ‘going urban,’[…]What does that have to do with anything? I have to play the role like, ‘Yo, what’s up, Batman? What’s going on wit chu?’” This troubling, albeit unsurprising, revelation is the reality of even highly privileged black actresses (light skinned, daughter of famous parents), so one can imagine the difficulties faced by black actresses with even less access.

Now, in the midst of the continued open dialogue about the access and opportunities of blacks and other people of color, Kravitz is taking matters into her own hands by pursuing a DIY plan of action where she will write, direct, and produce her own projects. “I love the fact that there’s such an open dialogue right now about women in Hollywood[…]Now it’s about us bringing the change, We started the dialogue but I don’t expect any man to write a script that speaks for me,” she said in a recent interview.

Kravitz has already started a collective of like-minded filmmaker friends, cinematographers, directors, actors, and writers. They plan to meet once a week to work. “If we want to be represented properly in Hollywood, let’s represent ourselves properly in Hollywood.”

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

Picture credit: Getty Images

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at erin@afropunk.com.