This image released by ABC shows Marsai Martin, left, and Tracee Ellis Ross in a scene from "black-ish." In the episode airing on Tuesday, Jan. 15, Dre, played by Anthony Anderson, and Bow, played by Ross, are furious after Diane, played by Martin, isn't lit properly in her class photo. The episode outlines the history of colorism in depth while injecting some humor (Ron Tom/ABC via AP)

Colorism reveals many shades of prejudice in Hollywood

January 16, 2019 - 10:41 am

The last year has been hailed as a breakthrough for representation in Hollywood with box office hits like "Black Panther" and "Crazy Rich Asians." And that has revived a frequently overlooked discussion about whether prejudice isn't just about the color of a person's skin, but the shade.

"Colorism," the idea that light-skinned minorities are given more privilege than their darker-skinned peers, is a centuries-old concept that many insiders say still pervades the entertainment industry.

It's a form of discrimination that is even the focus of Tuesday's episode of the ABC sitcom "black-ish."

The show's producers say they wanted to address colorism for several seasons.

With social media, conversations about skin color bias are frequent and immediate.

Movies, television shows and even the music industry have furthered the conversation.




Follow Terry Tang on Twitter at

Comments ()