“I can still remember the way I felt.”
If you’re a fan of ABC’s hit sitcom Abbott Elementarythen you already know and love Sheryl Lee Ralph as kindergarten teacher Barbara Howard.
Sheryl’s an accomplished veteran of the stage and screen, with a list of roles going back several decades — but she’s faced struggles alongside her many triumphs, too.
In a new interview with People, Sheryl revealed that she was once fired from a TV pilot because a producer told her she wasn’t “Black enough.”
“I was fired from a pilot because the producer told me I was ‘not Black enough,'” she said while talking about her experience in the 1980s. “Those were his words.”
“It was horrible. I can still remember the way I felt.”
“People’s thinking was not very inclusive,” she recalled while talking about Hollywood’s cultural climate back then. “You [had] directors who were still trying to tell you how to be Black.”
This isn’t the first time Sheryl’s talked about facing discrimination in the industry. She told another story about a casting director’s comments on The View just last month.
When she was asked to name the person who said that to her, Sheryl had the perfect reply: “Why bother? Look at me now.”
You can watch that entire interview here.