Kerry Washington Reveals She Got Fired Twice For Not Being "Urban" Enough

Photo: REX/Shutterstock.
Kerry Washington didn't pinpoint which two series cut her loose in the past — but she did explain why she she was told she was wrong for the parts.

The Scandal actress and producer opened up about typecasting in a conversation with Aziz Ansari for a Variety Studio: Actors on Actors segment set to air later this month. "Before Scandal, I was actually cast in two other pilots," she explained to the Master of None star. "Both went to series. But I was fired and recast."

The reason? She didn't fit into the stereotype the series were aiming for. "For both, it was because they wanted me to sound more ‘girlfriend,’ more like ‘hood,’ more 'urban,'" Washington revealed.

Ansari has been through his own version of the experience. "A lot of other minority actors have told me, 'Oh, this so rings a bell' when you go into an audition room and you see a bunch of people that look like you and you just start feeling like, ‘Oh I’m not here [for me], I’m here because I fit what looks like the person they want in here," he explained. The 33-year-old actor included exactly that scenario in the "Indians on TV" episode of his Netflix series.

Another thing both Washington and Ansari agree on: If you don't want to be pigeonholed, sometimes it pays to get your own projects off the ground.

"I definitely feel like I’m at that point where it’s nice to not have to sit at home and wait to be invited to the party," Washington said, "But to be creating work for yourself."

Advertisement

More from Pop Culture

The Final Five are national treasures. They're basically a collection of perfect, perfectly happy humans. And who wouldn't be, especially after turning in ...
Earlier this week, Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts announced their separation, ending their 11-year relationship. Their split tears at our freshly mended ...
Nick Jonas has already gone solo musically, but it seems he'd now like to do the same in his personal life. The single JoBro told Los Angeles ...
Jeb Bush has been a Florida governor and a presidential candidate. His latest gig? Comedian, apparently. In an opening sketch for the Emmys, Jimmy ...
Justin Bieber's presence is requested in Florida, but, unfortunately for him, not by his fans. According to TMZ, a judge has ordered Bieber to come back...
Another week of Fantasy Football means another week of triumph, or in my case, heartbreak. My team, Good Better Besser, lost again this week. And to add ...
Single? Find yourself a John Legend. The man knows exactly what to say when his wife, model and social media guru Chrissy Teigen is brought up. In his ...
Justin Theroux is one year into his union with Jennifer Aniston, and he's happily married. His secret to success: kindness. The Girl on the Train star ...
Jennifer Garner's most important alias of the past decade has definitely been her role as a mother. The 44-year-old has three children (Violet, 10, ...
Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna aren't broken up after all, y'all. They just are a experimenting with living in separate homes until the baby arrives, ...
Kim Kardashian West was assaulted on the street in Paris yesterday by Vitalii Sediuk. The serial celebrity stalker grabbed Kardashian's leg and tried to ...
We can't keep track anymore. First Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris were together. Then they broke up and Taylor started dating Tom Hiddleston while Calvin ...
Are you sick of hearing about the Taylor Swift-Kimye feud? Yeah, so is Kim Kardashian. The reality star and business mogul has had tension with Swift ...
As her husband Jay Z likes to remind us, "B.K. is from Texas." It's fitting, then, that Beyoncé's home state is paying homage to her groundbreaking work...