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."

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