Lorraine Toussaint once had to correct a director who thought her Trinidadian accent was fake.
She also said that he even attempted to show her how a Caribbean accent would sound.
As she recalled, he proceeded to “bastardize and butcher the Jamaican dialect.” The director also criticized her body, saying that he could not see what her figure looked like with “all those clothes on.”
"The look I must have given him," said Toussaint. "I went out and called my agent on a payphone--remember those?--and I said, 'I didn't get the job. Because I did not let him get away with that."
“The look I must have given him,” said Toussaint. “I went out and called my agent on a payphone–remember those?–and I said, ‘I didn’t get the job. Because I did not let him get away with that.”
Thankfully, Toussaint has seen a real shift in the industry since that time. As she told Shadow and Act in 2021 ahead of The Equalizer's renewal, she feels inspired by the amount of diversity she's seen on television.
As she told Shadow and Act in 2021 ahead of The Equalizer‘s renewal, she feels inspired by the amount of diversity she’s seen on television.
“I know that there is a shift happening – I can see it and I can feel it,” she said. “When I turn on Netflix or Amazon, the number of Black and Brown faces is far greater than what I saw 10 years ago, 15 years ago, certainly 20 years ago. That also speaks to blowing the myth out of the water that somehow people of color don’t make money overseas. The exposure streaming provides is instantaneous and the results are immediate. It’s clear that as far as content with people of color, we are highly sellable. In that regard, money talks, always.”