Taraji P. Henson is showing support for Gabrielle Union, who has vocalized claims of discrimination that range from racist jokes to derogatory comments about her hair during her time on America’s Got Talent.
Things have definitely been heated in regards to Union’s continued battle with AGT, and now with its host Terry Crews. The former AGT judge responded to Crews’s comments that were seemingly aimed at discounting her claims; he then caused controversy by firing back with a tweet saying that the only woman he had to please was his wife.
Union has made claims against the popular variety show about experiencing sexism and racism, including comments that her hair was “too black.” And Henson understands the struggles faced by black women in Hollywood when it comes to their hair, which is one of the reasons she is creating a line of her own in the black hair industry.
In a recent interview with InStyle to promote her new haircare line TPH by Taraji, Henson shared her own stories about the lack of on-set stylists who know how to do her hair.
“It’s about having the power,” Henson said. “When they need you, they will go along with your plan. When I knew I had the power to request, I started just putting my foot down and said, ‘No, I won’t do it unless I have my people.'”
Henson also had a few words for Union following the AGT fallout and the continued struggle for diversity.
“We are behind her, I got her back because this is ridiculous. You’re saying that her hair is too black for America? Then you don’t want black Americans watching your show. My children and my daughters and my cousins or whoever, they need representation,” she said.
In a climate that still looks at natural hair as controversial — including in a recent story about black students being suspended from school for displaying natural hair — the actress reiterated that black hair is beautiful.
“For so long we have been told that our hair in its natural state is ugly, or it’s nappy or it’s been given these horrible descriptions,” Henson noted. “How can we fight what is naturally ours? Embrace it. Our hair defies gravity, think about that. Our hair points to the heavens, that’s powerful.”
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