Zoë Kravitz was denied an audition for a small part in the critically acclaimed Christopher Nolan-directed The Dark Knight Rises. Why? I hear you ask. Because of the colour of her skin apparently.
Zoë, the daughter of musician Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet is featured on the front cover of for Nylon Magazine’s August 2015 issue. In an interview she revealed that she was not permitted to go for the role series because she was “too urban” for the role.
“In the last ’Batman’ movie, they told me that I couldn’t get an audition for a small role they were casting because they weren’t ’going urban,’” she told the mag. “It was like, ’What does that have to do with anything?’ I have to play the role like, ’Yo, what’s up, Batman? What’s going on wit chu?’”
No matter though because Zoë has been climbing up the Hollywood food ladder at a great pace. She’s had roles in X-Men: First Class, Divergent, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Dope.
She said: “I don’t want to play everyone’s best friend. I don’t want to play the role of a girl struggling in the ghetto.”
She also opened up about what it was like being a Black kid in a mostly White school.
“I identified with white culture, and I wanted to fit in,” she said. “I didn’t identify with black culture, like, I didn’t like Tyler Perry movies, and I wasn’t into hip-hop music. I liked Neil Young.”
“Black culture is so much deeper than that,” she added. “But unfortunately that is what’s fed through the media. That’s what people see. That’s what I saw. But then I got older and listened to A Tribe Called Quest and watched films with Sidney Poitier, and heard Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. I had to un-brainwash myself. It’s my mission, especially as an actress.”
This is just another reason to add to the list of reasons why the word urban gets on my nerves. Urban used to just relate to the characteristic of a town or city or city life. Now it relates to black music and black people and can be used to write us off under that one big umbrella.