Black journalists have been making it clearer and clearer how often movie stars and publicists will skip over them on the red carpet as if their presence isn’t as important as their white counterparts. Thankfully, the outcry has been heard by some in Hollywood, including Halle Berry, who has recently been praised for giving Black journalists love on the John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum red carpet.
According to Vibe, Berry made it a point to speak to Black journalists at the film’s premiere, such as Emerald Marie from Where Is The Buzz TV. Marie told Vibe that she was cut off from speaking with Berry by a publicist, but instead of giving Marie and another Black journalist, Lamar Dawson, the cold shoulder, she turned around to speak with Marie and Dawson, saying, “I can’t skip my brother and sister.”
“Oftentimes, Black reporters and Black outlets are pushed to the end and unable to get the proper interview that they need,” said Marie, adding that she has “newfound respect” for Berry because of her actions. Marie also shared her views about the moment on her Instagram page.
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I wanted to share this story because so often we hear people say “support black business” We all know it’s hard being the Minortity in many industries! For Halle Berry to make a conscious effort to turn back around and make sure the only two black faces we recognized & allocated the time to get our coverage is just another reason why she is a Leader & Queen ???? @halleberry ❤️‼️???? #blackbrandsmatter #johnwick3 #blackreporters thank you @whereisthebuzz for this platform
Dawson wrote a statement to Vibe about his take on what happened, stating that he and Marie were talking about the ill-treatment Black reporters receive before they too were almost passed over by a publicist.
“Emerald and I were standing next to each other on the carpet and were discussing how often Black reporters are skipped at these events–and then it nearly happened to us,” he wrote. “It’s a big issue that needs to be addressed. Our stories deserve to be told, too.”
“When Halle came back, I was able to talk to her quickly about her show Boomerang and how important it is for the show to feature Black, LGBTQ storylines, an interview question the mainstream outlets aren’t going to ask, thus underscoring the importance of diversity in newsrooms and the importance of outlets that seek to give a voice to marginalized people,” he continued. “I’m grateful for Halle for seeing us out there.”
Berry’s actions mirror the steps Lil Rel Howery and Sterling K. Brown have taken to be more inclusive in who they allow to participate in their press tours. For instance, Howery spoke to Black journalists first on the MTV Movie Awards red carpet in 2018. Arguably the event that brought the conversation about discrimination in entertainment journalism to the forefront, Brown was asked by Blacktree TV’s Jaleesa Lashay Diaz during his 2018 SAG Awards press conference about his awareness of discrimination on the red carpet. Brown admitted that he was unaware and hoped that the conversation was “the beginning of something taking place.”
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is in theaters now.
Image credit: Emerald Marie/Instagram