Danielle Brooks Shares Inspiring Message About Working As A Black Leading Woman On TV

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During Netflix's Strong Female Leads panel in New York City today, actress Danielle Brooks dropped some gems. The 27-year-old Orange Is the New Black star opened up about being a woman of color in the business and how, thanks to Netflix, television is changing for the better.
On women of color in the business:
"It’s been a dream to be in Orange Is the New Black because I know that it’s really shifted my perspective on what it is to be a woman of color in this business." She continued, "We kind of tricked the world into thinking that this story was centered around this white woman."

On diverse female leads in 2017:
"Now you don’t only have one female lead. You have a Hispanic female lead, you have a transgender female lead, you have Black female leads. It blew my mind to be on a show — my first show out of school — where there are at least four Black women that are series regulars... Everything that I had seen you only get one."

How her views of beauty have changed:
"Coming into this business right out of school I was very confused: How do I wear my hair? Do I gain weight? Do I lose weight? I can’t change my color," she said with a laugh. "To be on a show where they say there’s not one formula of what beauty is. You can have a hint of mocha choco-latte, you have a hint of fat back... It’s still beautiful because people are seeing themselves on TV, finally."

The overall conversation was both intimate and inspiring. The panel, moderated by Eliana Dockterman from Time magazine also featured Jessica Henwick from Marvel's Iron Fist, Kate del Castillo from Ingobernable, Gillian Jacobs from Love, and Logan Browning from Dear White People.

These actresses also shared loads of wisdom about women, race, and the future of the small screen. Watch the full discussion, below. And did you hear? Brooks, a.k.a. Taystee, and the women of Litchfield prison will be back for season 5 on June 9.
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