Black actors are speaking out once again on hair discrimination on set.
Actors voiced their frustrations about the constant lack of proper Black hair care and maintenance in hair and makeup departments during the Hair and Makeup Equity: Changing the Industry Standard virtual event, as reported by The Guardian. Lamorne Morris, best known for his role on Fox’s New Girl, talked about how the hair and makeup department didn’t have anyone available to cut his hair.
“I would have to go to the barbershop at 4, 4:30 a.m. before set to get my hair cut,” he said during the event. “When I would get to set, I would see everyone else in the hair and makeup trailer getting their hair cut. When I asked why I couldn’t get my hair cut at work, it was because–this is what they told me–they didn’t have the budget for my hair.”
Meagan Good said that she was injured by an ill-trained hairstylist on the set of Think Like a Man.
“When [the hairstylist] went to press my hair, he put a metal comb underneath the comb and that comb slipped out and the pressing comb basically burned by forehead,” she said. “I had about five or six tooth marks on my face. It was quite frustrating for someone to say that they knew how to do it and to not really do it and to kind of use me as an experiment.”
Even though Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom‘s hair and makeup team Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson won the Oscar for their work, Black Panther, Tenet and Captain Marvel hairstylist Camille Friend said that she doesn’t believe the industry will change overnight solely because of the accolade.
“[Producers have to] look for hairstylists and makeup artists that are well trained for the diversity of the cast,” she said, adding that stylists who aren’t trained in hair and makeup for people of color “shouldn’t take jobs if offered to them.” She also added that actors’ unions must allow actors of color to request the stylists and barbers they want in their productions.
“This should be a requirement,” she said.
The conversation about Black hair in Hollywood has been happening for a while, with Viola Davis saying in 2019 how she won’t work with stylists who can’t do Black hair.
“I refuse it. I reject it,” she said. “I don’t think that people understand our hair…they don’t understand that we’re different and yet, the same. What I find is hair is something that a lot of people don’t honor when you do a film.”