THANDIWE Newton, a Zimbabwean-British actress, has issued a tearful apology to “darker-skinned actresses” for failing to represent them in an interview to promote her new film, God’s Country.
As she discussed playing the movie’s protagonist – a grieving black professor who confronts two white trespassers – the BAFTA winner apologised for being the “one chosen” to portray the role.
Speaking on Sky News on Thursday, Thandiwe – who is mixed race with English and Zimbabwean heritage – confessed that she considered not taking the role as she didn’t believe she was “dark-skinned” enough.
The actress told the Associated Press she struggled with accepting the part at first, explaining, “I now realize that my internalized prejudice was stopping me from feeling like I could play this role, when it’s precisely that prejudice that I’ve received.”
Newton continued, “It doesn’t matter that it’s from African American women more than anyone else. It doesn’t matter. I received prejudice. Anyone who’s received oppression and prejudice feels this character.”
“I’ve wanted so desperately to apologize every day to darker-skinned actresses. To say, ‘I’m sorry that I’m the one chosen. My mama looks like you,'” she continued, before covering her face.
Thandiwe then appears to break down in tears and holds her head in her hands.
Thandiwe added, “It’s been very painful to have women that look like my mom feel like I’m not representing them. That I’m taking from them. Taking their men, taking their work, taking their truth.
After seeing the clip, Piers took to Twitter to savage Thandiwe’s apology.
He wrote in view of his 7.9 million followers: “What on earth is she on about?
“There are loads of top actresses with darker skin.
“And whose men is she taking and why?
“This is a bonkers clip.”
Thandiwe’s new film has been adapted from a short story by James Lee Burke – but has swapped the older white male lead character with a black woman.
It marks the first project for Newton where she is using her birth name after years of being known as Thandie in Hollywood.
Last year, Thandiwe announced she was reclaiming the Zimbabwean spelling of her name.
She told British Vogue at the time she was “taking back” what is hers after the ‘w’ was dropped from her first film, Flirting, in 1991.
The Line of Duty star proclaimed: “That’s my name. It’s always been my name.
“I’m taking back what’s mine.”
Nyasha Newton, Thandiwe’s mom, is a Shona tribe princess from Zimbabwe, according to Entertainment Tonight.