Gabrielle Union is speaking out about white privilege and diversity in Hollywood, so let's go ahead and listen up. The actress stars in Birth of a Nation, a film that's been somewhat marred by the sexual assault allegations of its writer, director, and star Nate Parker. But for Union, the contentious conversation surrounding the film is exactly why she won't back down from her participation in it.
"Some people have said, 'If you're a feminist, you should boycott the film,'" explains Union. "And I was like, 'But wait, my role in the film and the reason I signed on was to talk about sexual violence.' So it feels ass backwards to shirk that responsibility when the controversy swirling around our film is around sexual violence, so who better to speak on it than me? And if I take myself out of the conversation because it's uncomfortable, and because I'm worried about my brand, then my brand ain't shit if I don't stand up for what I've always stood up for since I became a rape survivor."
Union went on to explain that while her white co-stars know what white privilege is, awareness of one's own privilege comes with "behavior modification"—something she hopes to discuss with other actors in Hollywood.
"I've already talked to Lena Dunham; I would love to talk to Kate Upton and Amy Schumer," she said. "Maybe I can help to explain the oppressive systems that have benefited and allowed them to say these careless, insensitive, and offensive things. Those conversations are awkward as f*ck and they get heated. Similar to watching people have conversations about consent."
Union is referring to Kate Upton's comments about NFL players kneeling in protest of police violence during the National Anthem, as well as Amy Schumer's controversial interview with Lena Dunham. And no matter where you fall on these issues, dialogue is always a good thing, right?