Kerry Washington and Don Cheadle offer insightful and eye-opening commentary on race in Variety‘s “Primetime Emmy” series. Both actors have managed to build successful and prolific careers in Hollywood, and they actually attribute some of their achievements to their race and in Kerry’s case, her gender.

Check out excerpts from their video below via The YBF:

On being defined by your race in Hollywood:

Don: I think I’m somewhat defined by my race for sure. And I’m good with that. I actually want that to be a part of the storyline. I don’t believe in colorblind casting. It should be fodder for your work and we should use all aspects of ourselves. I find a place where that can have an impact on my work. As opposed to us saying, ‘Oh we’re all the same’.

On comparing racism to sexism in Hollywood

Kerry: I’ve been able to do things as a woman in this business I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do as a man. Just like with Ray, I wouldn’t have been able to play Ray Charles’ wife if I wasn’t a black woman. So, it sometimes makes things more challenging, but it also has allowed for unique experiences like Hotel Rwanda and Ray and Last King, roles that really use our gender and our race.

On the lack of opportunities for people of color in Hollywood

Don: It depends on when you ask the question. If this was 1971, there would be tons of opportunities for black people in movies. Not sure if you would want to be in all of them, but you would be like yeah, I’ve got 5 auditions today. Then that went away and there was a resurgence of other blaxsploitation films with the gangster films like Boyz In The Hood, Menace II Society and Dead Presidents–movies with black heroes and anti heros. At that time, there was a lot of work.

But where we are right now, there’s not enough for anybody. So the people who are already marginalized (people of color) are going to have even less.

On how “Scandal” leads to diversity

Kerry: The woman who runs my digital social media came up with this idea when I was on the cover of Ebony–a contest for followers to take a pic of themselves with me on the cover of EBONY magazine. And the most creative we would send the an autographed copy. It was a neat way to engage followers on line. It was so moving because you had all these pictures of white women going to buy EBONY magazine or Latin women and people overseas going into international magazine stores. Suddenly, because of the power of the TV show, people were crossing over into racial categories and social interests they never would have before. These people wouldn’t normally even purchase this magazine.

Watch the video below:

Kerry Washington and Don Cheadle have a refreshing outlook on how their race and gender has positively impacted their careers. What do you think of their perspective, Clutchettes?

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