Rosie PerezRosie Perez confessed to HuffPost Live that she was once asked by her reps to seek the assistance of a plastic surgeon to enhance her features to make her look less ethnic and more white.

The 50-year-old actress who has had breakthrough roles in films like Do The Right Thing and White Men Can’t Jump was advised early on in her career to consider plastic surgery in order to secure more work.

“The View” host was quick to dismiss the idea that she needed to alter her features and immediately fired the rep. Perez also admitted that she has been a victim of prejudice as a Latina actress who kept her accent and refused to lose those qualities that made her unique in order to assimilate into the industry.

She has endured being labeled as “feisty” which she categorizes as the worst form of racial bias against a Latina actress, “It’s bad because it’s negative, negative, prejudiced against Latinas: the feisty spitfire.” “And I would get it all the time. What’s so crazy is that they were like ‘why do you have to be so ethnic?’ And I’d say “What do you mean? Why do you have to be a human being? What are you talking about?”

The actress admits that it is now totally acceptable for Latin entertainers to fully embrace their heritage instead of “selling out”. “Basically back then a lot of Latin performers would whitewash themselves in order to be relevant and stay in the business and get jobs. And I get it. But nowadays everybody is like ‘hey, I’m Latin! I’m loud I’m proud’. And I think it’s a wonderful thing. So I took some knocks to get that. That’s fine.”

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  • I’m glad that she decided not to alter her features as suggested. She looks gorgeous for her age, and could easily pass for 30 instead of 50.

    • Sassymama

      No she couldn’t. Have you seen what she looks like up close? To me she looks her age.

  • Anthony

    I remember reading that Rosie Perez was initially leery of taking her role in “White Men Can’t Jump,” because she was afraid she would be cast as Wesley Snipes love interest. When she found out she was being cast opposite Woody Harrelson, she agreed. The irony is that if she had been cast opposite Snipes, they both would have had a dislike of black partners to bond over!

    That story, aside, no one has to want to be with us, and it is cool that she loves her Latina identity.

    • Rizzo

      Hmm. Rosie Perez (Tina) played the love interest of Spike Lee (Mookie) in the movie Do the Right Thing. Tina and Mookie engaged in a very steamy love scene together. Also in the movie, Mookie and Tina had a child together, Hector.
      According to Perez, both Snipes and Harrelson recommended and supported Perez for her role in White Men Can’t Jump. Per Perez, studio execs thought she was too ethnic for the role.

    • blogdiz

      Well we can always count on Spike Lee to hook up a brown paper bag passing sista/latina up now cant we
      Woman who are still working that Spike helped early in their career , Rosario Dawson, Rosie Perez , Halle Berry , Lonetta Mcghee and Tisha Campbell
      Notice anything ????

    • Anthony

      That’s it, Spike got her foot in the door. An ice cubes on the breast scene, plus some hip hop dancing, got her foot on the door. I wish I had not read that article so long ago, because I cannot remember my source any more.

    • paintgurl40

      Actually she started off as a Soul Train dancer, but yeah Spike put her in the movies. She admitted in an interview that she was always angry when she was young. She once got into it with Don Cornelius during a taping. I don’t remember the whole story just that fried chicken was thrown around.

    • Mary Burrell

      @blogdiz: That is what always annoyed me about Spike Lee he was into feeding into that colorization ish. And i noticed that even he even married a very light skinned woman. That made me a little disappointed. He was as the old black folks used to say in the day “color struck”

    • Delia

      you forgot Kerry Washington

    • Anthony

      I am pretty sure I read that article about Perez in Rolling Stone back in the 1990s.

  • vintage3000

    There isn’t enough cosmetic surgery in the world that would make Rosie Perez look white, I do not believe her story. Plus she has built her career on being the ‘feisty spitfire’ and now she is saying she hates that moniker thrown at Latinas.

  • Wanda

    I wish that she would admit that the “Latina” features her handlers were looking to erase are actually her African features.

    Has she ever even acknowledged her Afro-Latina heritage? I’ve never heard her do so.

    • blowmymind

      Good point. She looks more like a lighter skinned black woman.

    • John’s opinion

      “I wish that she would admit that the ‘Latina’ features her handlers were looking to erase are actually her African features. Has she ever even acknowledged her Afro-Latina heritage? I’ve never heard her do so.”

      I am white and appreciate what you said. I never heard her acknowledge it. What do you make of that?

  • Mary Burrell

    Afro Latina features that many whitewash. I always wondered about her and Rosario Dawson.

    • Anthony

      Casting Rosario Dawson in Top Five is my main problem with seeing that movie. Chris Rock is a very sharp man politically. I know movies are not reality, but I just don’t know why he couldn’t cast a black identified woman as the sharp reporter who helps him reach some sort of epiphany?

    • blogdiz


      Thank you
      He had the opportunity to cast any beautiful brown skinned actress such as Emayatzy E. Corinealdi, Tlka Sumpter. Yaya Dacosta, Necole Beharie as his love interest instead he went with the worn out trope of light skinned Latina who saves him from his materialistic dark skinned shrew ( Gabby Union)
      Chris Rock like many other men in Hollywood are caught up with the light/skin good hair complex and then has the nerve to frame issues re Good Hair as BW problem when its equally a BM problem that they contribute to
      The funniest thing is Eva Mendez, Rosie Perez , Zoe Saldana Rosario Dawson and all those latina women that BM love to put on a pedestal DO NOT date BM.

    • Anthony

      I have a problem patronizing a movie with lead actress of color who does not identify as black, and is never around African Americans unless a paycheck is involved.

    • Anthony

      From my perspective, I have no problem saying any of these women is attractive. They are given the standards that are common in our community. If i see one of them in People or Entertainment Weekly, I say, “she’s cute,” and I turn to the next page. Looking is free. If money is involved, the white community or the Latino community can buy their art since those are the people with whom they identify and socialize.

    • paintgurl40

      Leslie Jones is in this movie as well. I know she’s not seen as a beauty, but they could have TRIED.

    • Yes, I’m That Leah

      You don’t have to wonder… their faces scream African.

    • John’s opinion

      Are you referring to Rosie Perez and Rosario Dawson?