Actor and icon, Chloë Sevigny, has spoken out about the lack of racial diversity in the film industry and what’s held her back from publicly naming directors that have harassed her.
Celebrity website, The Muse, has released an in-depth new interview with model, actor and fashion-legend, Chloë Sevigny.
During the interview, Sevigny discusses the injustices of Hollywood, including the lack of racial diversity in the casting process and recalls one of the worst things a casting director ever said to her.
Promoting, Lean on Pete, in which Sevigny plays an American small-scale horse-racing jockey, she openly admits that her latest film is a “whitewash”, before explaining how she plans on ensuring there’s more diversity in the industry.
“I’m very aware of that now,” the actor states when asked if she thinks about racial parity.
“When I watch a movie, it’s so transparent when they’re casting in that situation. I’m not saying they shouldn’t. It’s also like, this is that world… There’s too many white people, period,” she continues, referring to films that have a predominantly white cast with people of colour in minor roles.
Sevigny, whose on-screen career spans nearly 25 years, explains that there’s several ways she plans to tackle this issue, including following in the footsteps of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri actor Frances McDormand and taking matters into her own hands as a director.
“There’s the inclusion rider situation that Frances [McDormand] brought up [at the Oscars]”, Sevigny starts.
Before addressing her growing career as a director, “Now I’m starting to make my own films as a director and thinking about casting in a different way. Encouraging that, maybe.”
So far Sevigny has directed two short films, Kitty and Carmen, and seems keen to build on this portfolio to gain more onus over the casting process and to have the opportunity to create more roles for people of colour.
She continues, “I don’t have power over casting in any project except the ones I’ve directed myself. We all have to take a certain responsibility but I haven’t really had that much power ever. I need to seek out more power. It’s the only way to invoke change, right? To be in a position of power.”
Sevigny also commented on her previous reluctance to speak out about the casting harassment that she has experienced in the past.
“What does hold me back? I don’t know if it was that offensive of an experience for me that it’s worth disruption. It wasn’t like they touched me in some way,” the actor says.
Before recalling that some of the most offensive direction she ever received was from a woman, “I’ve even had it with women. A female casting director said one of the worst things to me that I’ve ever heard: ‘You have to make the men want to fuck you and the women want to be you.’
“That’s disgusting. I feel like if someone had crossed a line that was really like, for me, this person should be called out, if something happened that I felt was really [extreme], then I would say something.”