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Colman Domingo Reveals He Was Rejected For A Role Because Of His Skin Color

Colman Domingo Reveals He Was Rejected For A Role Because Of His Skin Color

Krista B.
12/28/2023 10:29 AM EST

Actor Colman Domingo opens up about the time he almost quit acting after being rejected for a role because of the color of his skin. 

In a recent interview, The Color Purple star revealed that he was rejected for a role in the show Boardwalk Empire because he wasn’t light-skinned. In the interview, he also opened up about the time he struggled to get a break into the business again after his performance in the 2011 play The Scottsboro Boys. 

Domingo said that during the read for the role of a maîte d’ at a Black-owned nightclub, where he wore a tuxedo, sang, and tapped-danced, he received a call from his agent saying that although they loved him they passed on him because he wasn’t light-skinned.

“That’s when I lost my mind,” the actor remembers saying to his agent. “I can’t take it anymore, I think this is going to kill me.” He would make it back to doing onscreen work in 2015 in AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. Since then, he has been in movies such as Zola, If Beale Street Could Talk, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and other roles.

Domingo said that he no longer auditions for roles anymore, “I became an actor that was ‘offer-only’ probably sooner than the industry thought I should have,” he said. “But I decided I have a body of work. You can go and look at it, you can ask other directors about me, and you can make me the offer or not.”