NBC’s This Is Us stars Lonnie Chavis, as the young Randall Pearson. The show has given the young man a wide reach. Lonnie has now opened up about his experience of being a black guy in Hollywood. His reaction comes after the Black Lives Matter initiative catches momentum in the US.
Lonnie Chavis wrote a personal essay about his experience. The 12-year-old actor opened up how on his first time on a set, he was left shocked by not seeing any black people there. He further spoke about events where he was not treated appropriately until he had a publicist.
In his essay for People, Lonnie Chavis wrote, “I guess we all look alike since we are all Black. Can you imagine being confused for any other Black kid just because you all share the same profession? I can.”
Recalling how a scene on an unnamed show made him cry for real, the This Is Us actor wrote, “I can recall a time on set when I started crying listening to an actor portray a racist grandmother toward my character. The director and writers told me that they didn’t need me to cry for the scene. However, it was hard for me not to cry as I witnessed what I had just learned was my reality. I wasn’t acting, I was crying for me.”
Lonnie Chavis continued, “Can you imagine having to explain to a room full of white people why I couldn’t hold back my real tears while experiencing the pain of racism? I can.”
Clearing that the divide is not just eminent in Hollywood, but he was announced a thief just because of his colour in a restaurant in San Diego as well. Lonnie has narrated the whole incident in his essay. That isn’t enough, Lonnie Chavis also spoke about the sufferings he has seen his parents go through. He spoke how they were pulled over by police in multiple cities.
Concluding his heartfelt essay, Lonnie Chavis wrote, “If you don’t understand what’s going on in the world, then understand this: This is what the world looks like for me. A 12-year-old Black boy. This is my America.”
He added, “Policies need to change, laws need to change, the police need to change, Hollywood needs to change, hearts need to change, America needs to change. Change has got to happen for unarmed Black citizens to not live in fear of being murdered. Can you imagine being me in 2020 and wondering what the future holds? I can’t.”
Catch the complete essay right below:
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