HBO is reportedly “very disappointed” upon learning of a “Lovecraft Country” actress who’s going viral for revealing that the production darkened her skin on set for a role.
“This should not have happened, and we are taking steps to ensure this doesn’t occur again in the future,” the network admitted in a statement the Hollywood Reporter obtained regarding the shady incident.
In a TikTok video posted last month, actress Kelli Amirah accused the 2021 Golden Globe-nominated horror drama’s makeup crew of casting a dark shadow on her appearance, so she could portray a younger version of a character in a wedding picture.
Amirah recalled sitting in the makeup trailer between “Lovecraft’s” stars while cosmeticians openly discussed how she looked “lighter” than the actress she was playing despite her features being a “dead match.”
Amirah went on to explain in a subsequent tweetstorm that there was “no mention” of her being too white when she was originally cast for the “extra” role — which reportedly called for “a 20 to 25-year-old African-American woman.”
Nonetheless, the extra didn’t think much of it at the time until she noticed her complexion getting “darker and darker” during the makeup application, per the TikTok clip.
“I was so uncomfortable,” fumed the incensed stand-in on camera. “I had no idea they were going to do this to me, and if I had known beforehand, I would not have accepted the job. Who thought this was a good idea?”
In a followup TikTok video, she recounts that after the scene wrapped, she asked the makeup artists for wipes because she “refused to go out in the world like that.”
Amirah elaborated on the racy ordeal in her lengthy Twitter thread, admitting that she was “weak and complacent” for not speaking up while the “major network production” was putting her in “blackface.”
“I had so many conflicting thoughts in my head,” wrote the extra. “This is wrong. Why did they hire me? I should say something. What would I say? What would happen? If I hold up this production how much money goes down the drain? What will be my repercussions?”
She lamented, “I didn’t say s – – t. I got very quiet and withdrawn and went through with the job like a coward. I was selfish and more concerned with the repercussions of my own career instead of doing what’s right and not participating in something that I knew was wrong.”
In retrospect, Amirah said she might’ve “felt more empowered” to object had she been sitting among other extras and not the main cast.
She summed up the incident like this: “The entertainment industry needs to do better. I need to do better. I didn’t show up in the way I should have, and again, I’m sorry for that.”