Is Beyonce making it harder for Black actresses?

Published by Clay Cane on Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 12:00 am.

aniaBy now you’ve heard Nia Long’s comments on singers and rappers turned actors, especially Beyonce Knowles, who starred in roles like Obsessed, Dreamgirls and Cadillac Records.  In case you missed it, Long told U.K. magazine Pride:

If you’re a singer, not an actress, you should sing. If you’re a rapper, you should rap.

On Beyonce’s last movie Obsessed.

I didn’t see ‘Obsessed,’ so I can’t comment, but it’s just not about how talented you are anymore. It’s about how much box-office revenue will this person generate.  When you see certain people – we won’t name names – they just don’t have the skill, and no one on their team has said, ‘You need acting classes.

Nia Long was one of the most popular Black actresses from the ’90s, starring in films like Boyz N The Hood, Love Jones and The Best Man.  While Long makes a good point – are Beyonce and musicians really to blame for the lack of African-American roles in Hollywood?  Isn’t the bigger issue what movies get the green light, the void of African-Americans owning film studios and little to no Black screenwriters?  It’s a heavy burden to put this issue on the back of Beyonce, which goes back to the days of Hattie McDaniel and Dorothy Dandridge.

On the other hand, Bey is the current media darling.  Imagine if a seasoned actress played Etta James in Cadillac Records, Deena in Dreamgirls, or the angry wife in Obsessed.  If someone like Beyonce were around in the ’90s would she have snatched up the role of Nina in Love Jones?  Bird in Soul Food?  Yes, once upon a time, pop stars like Janet Jackson (even despite her few movie roles), Jody Watley and Paula Abdul stayed in their lane when it came to Hollywood.  Actresses like Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Nia Long and Jada Pinkett Smith were offered roles because they were the actors.  Maybe there is a lack of respect for acting — you can get by being an awful actress and still do well at the box office.  However, if you are an awful singer who was once an actor — the door is not as open.

Do you agree with Nia Long’s comments or is she pointing fingers in the wrong direction?

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Sophia Said on

I agree completely with Nia about Beyonce but I have to say Janet Jackson does not go into the catagory of singers turned actors because she was an actress before she became a pop icon.

lee Said on

I agree with Nia, I love beyonce but all at the same time it’s just some roles that she shouldn’t star in!

lana Said on

beyonce is not the one to blame, if she wants to act who are they to tell her she can’t but on the same hand nia has a point when it comes to the roles and the singers becoming actors but it’s not just beyonce there are many others who jump from music studio to movies’s much easier to be a singer turn actor than an actor turn singer.

Jarrett Goer Said on

times are changing in hollywood, the 90’s where the golden days for black actors, now, the future doesnt look to bright for black hollywood, we need more directors, more power behind the scenes other than tyler perry. and i know tyler perry provides most work for black actors, who otherwise cant get acting jobs in hollywood. but there needs to be more from black hollywood, more black directors and producers !! that role could have went to nia long instead of beyonce, but will packer knew what he was doing when he casted beyonce as the lead,she generates box office money, and that is really important towards a producer!!come on black people, we can do better!!

Nicole Hooks Said on

The ony thing I do agree on is Beyonce can not act. Since “Fighiting Temptations” u could tell actin is NOT her thang. Beyonce is VERY talented musically wise. But she is a bot overrated. I dont agree actors/actresses should stay in there place.Will Smith and L.L. Cool J, both examples of singers turned actor who do well with both. Queen Latifah. Awesome actress and rapper/songer. I love Ice Cube. Janet,not really. She doesnt convince as an actress.As a kid as Lil Penny, yes, but sorry as an adult,Im not convinced. The crying scene with her and Malik Yoba when they finally confronted the death of their scene.That was terrible.I soo was not convinced at her emotions.But like the ldy above said,God may bless us with many gifs and if we have the gift of singing AND acting, then do ur thang,but some need to stick with what they know. Athletes especially. DOnt try n rap. None of ya’ll have succeeded. Stick to football and bball, lol. God bless

just saying Said on

I love Nia and I love Beyonce. But i love Nia for her acting and Beyonce for her singing. Obessed was done with some of her own money so of course she was going to be in it, I totally agree with Nia, That’s why she can’t get a good acting role because the no acting singers are being cast for the money and the fans. I believe too that everybody should stay in there place unless they are a triple threat like Jamie, Jamie is an actor, singer, and comedian and he’s good at all. If you keep getting bad reviews STOP. Love Nia and her opinion.

Critique Said on

Beyonce can not act. This industry is going down the tubes. That role could have been given to a ACTOR that would have blown this movie out of the box for real.

the one Said on

Nia girl stop with your mess!!!!!!!!!!!!. tell me when you are your last movie ok thanks hater.

the one Said on

Nia girl stop with your mess!!!!!!!!!! tell me when you had your last movie ok thanks hater.

honey Said on

i dont agree with Nia is not your place to blame B for black women not getting role. Ans this question? why do people still go and watch Bmovies every those they say she can ct. Black people need to stop bring down one another.

firstlady Said on

I agree with Nia B need to stick to what she do best holla!!!!!!!!!! LOL

Mz Nicety Said on

Nia has a point but she know that in Hollyworld it is all about the money. Look at Good Times, a great black show, but was the acting great– NO. That is just one example. Everybody knows Beyonce can’t act, but men like to look at her and some women want to be her. That is her marketing tool and as long as you got it, sell it. It do not last always. Get all you can while you can then you can retire happy. Everybody knows that retiring with money is better than retiring without it. That’s why you get up in the morning and work your tusch off, otherwise you can stay in the bed.

ms.caramel-cutie Said on

leave beyonce alone she is doing her thing she is not the reason for a shortage in black actors.she is in the spotlight so stop hatin.

ms.caramel-cutie Said on

lets uplift are black sistas stop hating not heathly.

kingray Said on

nia has an point.the flip side though is that if will smith stayed true toit he’d still be making wack rap instead of blockbuster movies…

Evey Said on

I agree with nia..before we (black people ) comment on something we should make sure we undterstand the main idea and listen to what the writer is saying . Nia is not targeting beyonce alone she just used her as a prime example since she was the most recent.There are hardly any black actors and actresses and for the few that there is they need to remained viewed as five stars and definitely does not need anyone misrepresenting them. She states that is easy for singers to become actors but actors cannot run and become singers…if we want to talk about expanding and growing it should be fair across the board so everyone can exapnd and grow. people state that she has talent so she can act and do what she wants….but the truth is some people talent needs perfecting…I like beyonce. She is very versatile and strong, and willing to try new things and i am happy for that but in some areas she needs practice and acting is one of them…..such as Nia stated. ….overall, I do not think Nia is hating one bit she is just stating the facts so let us get it together and keep it real! :::: Have a nice day people~~~~

beyonce Said on

Beyonce sucks as an actress and is a mediocre singer. She just came in the right packaging and was blessed with parents.

beyonce Said on

Beyonce sucks as an actress and is a mediocre singer. She just came in the right packaging and was blessed with smart parents.

A Record Deal Should Not Equal a Movie Career - Black Actors Get The Shaft | Clutch Magazine: The Digital Magazine for the Young, Contemporary Woman of Color Said on

[...] Long, voices her opinion on the matter, July, 2009: “If you’re a singer, not an actress, you should sing. If [...]

tamika Said on

Nia i think you right,i think B should start producing movie`s
and put black actress`s in them now that would be a knock
on the door,