Nicole Byer may be an actress, but there are some things that have happened in her career that she finds anything but funny.
Earlier this week, Nicole appeared in Laverne Cox’s pre-Emmy special If we are honest and spoke of a time a casting director asked her to “be more black.”
Nicole, who built her career on being authentically herself, admitted that early in her career casting directors repeatedly made her prove her darkness.
“Usually they say ‘Sassy,’ ‘more street,’ ‘more urban,'” Nicole told Laverne. “They’ll be like, ‘Can you wiggle your neck a bit? “”
“But I read [the script] and she was like, ‘Can you be Blacker? Be as black as possible and if you get too black, I’ll bring you back.'”
Laverne asked about the director’s race, to which Nicole replied, “Oh, you know she was white as snow. Very white.”
Nicole, who currently hosts the Netflix baking show Nailed it! and NBC stars Great crewremembers feeling confused and surprised by how the anonymous director measured blackness and that the director believed she had the ability to do so as a white woman.
At the time, Nicole was in her 20s and auditioning for a fairy role. To appease the director, Nicole decided to use more stereotypical mannerisms and colloquialisms while continuing with her audition.
“It wasn’t fun,” Nicole said. “It wasn’t great. It didn’t feel good doing it.”
For more from Nicole, watch the full clip below. You can find more episodes of If we are honest a! in the days leading up to the Emmys, which airs Monday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
And if you have ever faced a similar situation and want to get rid of it, tell us about it in the comments!