Laverne Cox is hosting the special “If We’re Being Honest”, and among those she interviews are standup comic and “Nailed It!” host Nicole Byer.
During their conversation, Cox asks Byer to confirm a story she’s heard. “Allegedly, a casting director asked you to ‘talk more Black’ at one point?” Cox asked Byer, as reported by E! News.
“Allegedly?” Byer responded. “It happened so much.”
Added Byer: “Usually, they say ‘sassy, more street, more urban.’ But I read it, and she was like, ‘Can you be Blacker?’ I was just playing a fairy. And she was like, ‘Be as Black as you can be. If you go too Black, I’ll bring you back.’”
Cox asked Byer if she could recall the race of that particular casting director. “Oh, you know she was white like the snow,” Byer quipped.
Byer, who was just starting out at the time, felt she had no choice but to go along with the direction, although she didn’t enjoy doing it.
“It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t great,” she admitted. “It didn’t feel good to do it.”
Cox then asked, “Did you ever go too Black and need to be pulled back?”
“She never had to pull me back,” Byer quipped, “but I wish I’d gone far enough.”