Thandie Newton Reveals the Racism, Sexism, and Abuse She Suffered as a Black Woman in Hollywood

Kareena Koirala
Jul 13, 2020
08:30 A.M.

Thandie Newton, who is known for being outspoken and open, candidly spoke out about all the abuse and racial discrimination that she endured from a very young age as a Black woman in Hollywood.


Thandie Newton is making headlines again, and for all the good reasons. The actress had nothing to hold back when she talked about being objectified, sexually abused, and subjected to racial discrimination in Hollywood.

The "Westworld" actress boldly told her story and also named big names while doing so. In an interview with "Vulture," the actress revealed some of the darkest secrets from her past that still haunt her today.

Thandie Newton attends BFI screening of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" at BFI Southbank on May 23, 2018 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Thandie Newton attends BFI screening of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" at BFI Southbank on May 23, 2018 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images



Currently, Newton has been isolating with her family. Before the pandemic hit and lockdown came into effect, she was in Montana filming a movie named "God's Country."

Newton opened up about how she felt like she was not beautiful as a 16-year-old teen. Back then, she had no sense of herself. Although she said there were plenty of people who could have been interested in her, they did not want to show it because she was Black.


Newton realized from early on that her life was not going to be easy because of her skin color.

Speaking of how people would hold back praises just because she was Black, Newton recalled a time when her ballet teacher would not give her prizes even though she was a brilliant ballet dancer and was always given the solo.


Newton realized from early on that her life was not going to be easy because of her skin color. However, the abuse and disparity instilled a perfectionist with a solid work ethic in her.


As an actress, Newton has had to change the color of her skin numerous times, just to meet the expectations of how she was being perceived in the role. Sometimes she would be too Black for a role and the other times she would put fake tan on to satisfy whatever expectations had been placed on her.


But altering skin color does not come close to all the horrible things she endured. When she was battling anorexia as an actress, she was sexually abused and objectified. One time when she talked to Eve Ensler about it at a pub, she realized that she was a survivor rather than a victim.

Newton, who was sexually abused by director John Duigan on the set of "Flirting," said she was traumatized after the incident. And when people dubbed it as an affair, she felt like she was being abused all over again.


The actress gave up some big movie roles because she wanted to avoid being abused. She shared a story of how Amy Pascal once asked her to twerk in "Charlie's Angels" just so she could look more convincing as a Black woman.

Newton says she has a "little black book" that she intends to have published after she dies. She does not want to let everyone who did her wrong have their side of the story while she is still alive.

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