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Nicole Byer Reveals A Casting Director Once Asked Her To ‘Be Blacker’

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Comedian and actor Nicole Byer recently sat down with Laverne Cox ahead of this year’s Emmy awards for the E! special “If We’re Being Honest.”

Byer, who has been nominated a third time as the host of Netflix’s comedic reality bake-off “Nailed It!,” revealed details about a demeaning audition early in her career.

“Allegedly, a casting director asked you to ‘talk more Black’ at one point?” Cox asked Byer.

Byer replied, “Allegedly? It happened so much.”

The “Big Beautiful Weirdo” star, who made history as the first Black female nominee for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program in 2020, shared that she was told to go “Blacker” … but not “too Black.”

“Usually, they say ‘sassy, more street, more urban,’” she told the host. “But I read it, and she was like, ‘Can you be Blacker?’ I was just playing a fairy. And she was like, ‘Be as Black as you can be. If you go too Black, I’ll bring you back.’”

When Cox asked about the race of the casting director, the 36-year-old replied, “Oh, you know she was white like the snow.”

Byer said the uncomfortable request happened in her twenties when she was new in her career.

“It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t great,” the New Jersey actor admitted, revealing she felt at the time she had no choice but to go along with the direction. “It didn’t feel good to do it.”

At the end of the clip, Cox asked, “Did you ever go too Black and need to be pulled back?”

“She never had to pull me back,” Byer quipped. “But I wish I’d gone far enough.”



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