Racism : 'Quantico' star Priyanka Chopra says she lost a movie role because of her skin color

priyanka chopra
Priyanka Chopra isn't afraid to speak up.
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
  • Priyanka Chopra says she was denied a movie role because of her skin color.
  • The actress opened up about her experience to InStyle.
  • She also discussed closing the gender pay gap in Hollywood and in general.

Priyanka Chopra has faced discrimination and racism in Hollywood. 
"It happened last year," the 35-year-old "Quantico" actress told InStyle. "I was out for a movie, and somebody [from the studio] called one of my agents and said, 'She's the wrong — what word did they use? — 'physicality.' So in my defense as an actor, I'm like, 'Do I need to be skinnier? Do I need to get in shape? Do I need to have abs?' Like, what does 'wrong physicality' mean?" 
Her agent then explained that it was her skin color that kept her from getting the movie role. 
"And then my agent broke it down for me," she said. "Like, 'I think, Priy, they meant that they wanted someone who's not brown.' It affected me." 
Chopra became the first South Asian actress to lead an American network dramawhen she was cast on ABC's "Quantico." The Indian actress has since gone on to star in the blockbuster "Baywatch" and is currently filming the comedy "Isn't It Romantic" alongside Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth. 
The actress, who spoke to InStyle about closing the gender pay gap, explained that women of color are affected disproportionately. 
"No one will say that a woman is getting paid less because she's a woman of color, but the numbers mostly end up reflecting that," she said. 
For things to change in Hollywood, Chopra believes that it starts "at the casting level" and that people need to start talking about the differences in pay. 
"There are not enough meaty, strong lead roles for women where we don't have to compromise on every level just to get the best job," she said. "I think one of the big steps is to first of all recognize it. I see a lot of people explaining why the pay gap exists ... Nothing will change until we break the stereotypes of gender in our normal, day-to-day life."


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