Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell says she is “learning” to have “appropriate conversations” about racism with her “very fair-skinned” one-year-old daughter.
In a recent interview with Women’s Health, Mitchell explained that her husband, Matte Babel, is half white, which makes her daughter, Atlas Noa Babel, a mix-raced child, despite her being “very fair-skinned” with “light eyes and hair.”
“Matte is half white — his dad is from Trinidad. And Atlas is a mix of all of us. But she’s very fair-skinned and has light eyes and hair, so she doesn’t look like either of us,” Mitchell told the magazine.
“We’re learning how to have those appropriate conversations,” the actress added. “It starts with her dolls, with the toys she plays with, and the books we read to her, that have all different colors and ethnicities.”
Mitchell, who is half Filipino and half white, also told Women’s Magazine that she and her mother have personally experienced racism.
“It’s something my mom has dealt with her whole life. Then she and my dad were dating in the 1980s in Toronto, their relationship was looked down upon,” the actress said. “On the bus with my dad, she would get the worst looks. They would tell me about going into a restaurant and people not serving them.”
“I also saw it in real life,” she actress. “My mom would get derogatory remarks like, ‘Are you the cleaning lady? Are you the nanny?’ And she was like, ‘No, but what is your issue if I was?'”
Mitchell went on to claim that she, too, has also experienced anti-Asian racism.
“In school I was bullied — I’d get questions like, ‘Are you going to go clean the bathrooms?'” she said.