Michaela Coel said she was lucky that there are still places where she is unknown and the victim of racism, as it reminds her to keep speaking out against discrimination.
The award-winning star and creator of acclaimed TV drama I May Destroy You has said she regularly remembers herself as a black woman by the way others treat her.
London-born Coel, who makes the October cover of Elle UK magazine, revealed that when traveling abroad she regularly faces racism.
Coel, 33, whose first book, Misfits: A Personal Manifesto, came out next week, told Elle, “I’m a black woman and that will always be true. And, for me, there is nothing quite like going to another country where no one knows me and finding out how the security guards follow me around the pharmacy or the grocery store.
“The dirty looks I get, the fact that cars don’t want to stop on a zebra crossing. All of these things reinstall that I’m a black woman, ”she said. “I’m really lucky that there are places where I’m not known and so it allows me to experience it anyway.
“Shopping in black” continues to be a problem for the fashion and retail industry. In January, a study by French beauty company Sephora found that buyers from minority groups preferred to shop online rather than go to a physical store, in order to avoid racial profiling.
A separate report released in May found that 90% of black buyers in the United States had experienced some sort of racial profiling, including being closely watched by security personnel and being treated differently from buyers of other races.
Last spring, fashion, retail and beauty brands faced backlash for their alleged hypocrisy for making public statements in support of the Black Lives Matter movement while occasional racism remained common in stores.
It was alleged that staff at the Anthropologie commercial channel used a code name, “Nick”, to identify black customers. The company responded to the claims, saying it was “deeply saddened and disturbed by reports of racial profiling in our stores” and apologized “deeply and unequivocally to any customer who felt unwelcome.”
Coel isn’t the only prominent black celebrity to speak out about her experiences of racial profiling. In June 2019, when singer SZA claimed to have been racially profiled at a store in California, the channel apologized and closed for diversity training.
In 2013, Oprah Winfrey said that an assistant at a store in Zurich, Switzerland refused to show her a bag, claiming it was too expensive for her.
Winfrey, one of the richest women in the world, recalled that the saleswoman told her, “No, no, no, you don’t want to see this one, you want to see this one, because this one will cost too expensive. , you won’t be able to afford it. The bag in question was priced at 35,000 Swiss francs (approximately £ 28,000). The store later apologized.