Patti LaBelle Regrets Turning down 'the Color Purple' Role over Same-Sex Kiss Scene

Patti Labelle revealed that but for a scene she had found quite unsettling, she almost got to star in Steven Spielberg’s classic, “The Color Purple.”

“The Color Purple” is a 1985 film release produced by Steven Spielberg. The period drama was widely praised and had remained one of Spielberg's most notable works till date. 

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Repost from my beautiful niece/daughter @staycegirl! Thank you Stayce and I love you!!! ❤😘❤ I’m still screaming Happy Birthday to my #AuntieMommy @mspattilabelle This is 75!! She loves on me like a mom, we fight like sisters, she spoils me like an auntie and we talk late into the night and share secrets like besties. I was raised in a village of strong black women and she’s the last (wo)man standing. How she endured the loss of all the siblings she grew up with (back to back) as well as her parents AND her besties with grace and strength, I will never understand but will always respect! Not to mention the fact that she sang at her mother and sisters funerals...who does that?!?!! Patti Patti, that’s who!! She took me on my first cross country flight, kept me alive by taking me on tour with her after my mothers death and never judged me for being different. There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe my love and allegiance to her. Oh, and did I say that this is 75 and boy oh boy she’s giving 40 & 50 year olds a run for their money!! Aging like a fine wine! I want to be just like her when I grow up and hopefully🤞🏾I’ll look half as good as she does when I’m her age!! Get ‘em Granny and keep doing the damn thing!!! I’ll kill or die for her even though she can pluck my last nerve! Lol. Just make sure that you “put some respeck on her name” in and out of her presence! #happybirthdayauntie #75where #Ilovemesomeher #familyfirstandforever #webeenthroughsomethangs #PattiLaBelle #Blackdontcrack #thiswaslongbutshesworthit #Holtefamily

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Labelle, an American singer, and actress, once spoke in an interview with Contact Music where she revealed that she would have played the role of Shug Avery in the film but didn't for the fact that she would have had to film a same-sex scene. 

Labelle was the perfect fit for the role; she had the singing talents needed to portray the character of Shug Avery, a showgirl. However, she turned down the role after she discovered that she would have had to kiss a woman during a nude scene in the movie.

It is not everyone that would turn down the opportunity to star in a work of Steven Spielberg like Labelle did, but she disclosed that she had thought the film would be way too racy for her at the time. 

"I told Steven Spielberg I couldn't be in his film... I wasn't kissing a woman,” the beautiful star told Contact Music


The role went to Margaret Avery and the film, on its release, was deemed a box office success. Labelle named it one of her favorite movies as she found the storyline, which depicted the life of African American women during the early 20th century, rather engaging.

During her interview with Contact Music, the “You Are My Friend” singer expressed regrets that she turned down the perfect opportunity to flaunt her acting skills. 

“I regret it because it was just acting. "She (Shug) was in the tub, but it wasn't as bad as I thought,” Labelle said

The 75-year-old star further explained that after seeing the movie, she felt downcast and wondered why she had gotten ”so nervous”  about playing Shug Avery. 

“So after I saw the movie, I said, "Maybe I shouldn't have gotten so nervous about doing something that's acting." – Labelle


 "I should have shut up and just done the screen test, and maybe I would have been Shug Avery," she added. 

Despite missing the chance to star in "The Color Purple,” the media still considers the youthful singer as one of the most popular soul icons in America.

She has been awarded numerous times for her talent and most recently, NBC aired reports that Labelle will have a Philadelphia street named after her at the Wawa Welcome America Celebration. 

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