Cannes: Actress Jodie Turner-Smith Accuses Hollywood of Racism

British actress Jodie Turner-Smith poses during a photocall for the film "After Yang" as part of the Un Certain Regard selection at the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, southern France, on July 8, 2021. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP) (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images

At Canes Film Festival, British-born actress Jodie Turner-Smith scolded Hollywood power brokers for engaging in tokenism instead of truly diversifying the film industry.

Turner-Smith made her comments at the French film festival after the premiere of her latest film, After Yang. During her “Women on Motion” talk, the Queen & Slim star insisted that Hollywood must stop telling the stories of black people without hiring blacks to join the production, AFP reported.

“You have to hire producers who understand what kinds of stories we’re trying to tell and how to honor those stories so that you don’t end up with things that feel like tokenism or strange stereotyping,” the Anne Boleyn lead exclaimed. “So many times, it’s like (producers say), ‘We are going to tell a story that involves black people’, but there are no black people in the writers’ room, and there are no women in the writers’ room.”

Turner-Smith went on to urge Hollywood to hire black people throughout film productions.

“When you make casting choices and you hire actors of color in something, you have to hire people who know how to do their make-up, who know how to do their hair, who know how to light them properly,” she added.

Turner-Smith, who is married to Dawson’s Creek actor Joshua Jackson, has regularly made headlines over controversial comments. Last August, she said she would not give birth to their first child in a U.S. hospital because the facilities are awash in “systemic racism.”

“We had already decided on a home birth because of concerns about negative birth outcomes for black women in America,” the actress told British Vogue. At the same time, Turner-Smith said that once her child was born, the family would leave America because “white supremacy is overt” there.

Once her daughter was born, Turner-Smith told the media that she was so upset over Black Lives Matter issues that she would not breastfeed the baby because she didn’t want to pass “fear and anxiety” in her breastmilk.

The Without Remorse star also slammed her homeland in June when she accused the British royal family of failing to embrace and protect Meghan Markle from racist attacks.

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