Thank god for Gabrielle Union. You can always count on her to be extremely candid about her point of view about sensitive topics, but she always speaks her mind in a very eloquent and non-condescending way that gets her point across as clear as a bell.
She’s done it with her opinion on women who choose career over having children, and she stuck it to Stacey Dash after Dash made controversial comments about the lack of diversity at this year’s Oscars. Now, Union is taking some other fellow celebs to task for making offensive, racially charged statements recently.
“In order to begin to see change start to occur, we have to be willing to have conversations with people who have different opinions than us,” Union said in a recent interview with xoNecole. “I’ve already talked to Lena Dunham; I would love to talk to Kate Upton and Amy Schumer. Maybe I can help to explain the oppressive systems that have benefited and allowed them to say these careless, insensitive and offensive things. Those conversations are awkward as fuck and they get heated. Similar to watching people have conversations about consent.”
Union, of course, is referring to Schumer and Dunham’s infamous interview in which Dunham made strange comments about her experience sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr. at the Met Gala, which many felt were racially charged and offensive. Dunham has since apologized, saying, “I would never intentionally contribute to a long and often violent history of the over-sexualization of black male bodies — as well as false accusations by white women towards black men,” according to the Huffington Post. Schumer has yet to apologize.
Kate Upton was likely interjected into Union’s statement because of a recent tweet she posted about her disdain for the NFL players who have been opting out of the national anthem at games this year.
And, besides public interviews, how is Union helping to start these difficult conversations about racism and institutional oppression on a daily basis? She’s keeping it rather close to home. Union says that she has been having the difficult exchanges with pretty much anyone she comes into contact with, including crew members, costars and friends from high school. She’s even been talking to journalists about white privilege as much as possible.
“[During The Birth Of A Nation press conference] I was challenging the journalists in the room to evaluate their social circles,” she told xoNecole. “What day-to-day work are you doing to recognize your privilege, then actively dismantle it? The next step is figuring out what you’re willing to do that may not benefit you but will benefit mankind. Most people are savvy enough to say the right things, but when it comes to hiring someone that looks like them because it makes them feel more comfortable, that’s an example of the big and the little things that go into dismantling the system of oppression that people who benefit from it aren’t interested in tearing down. The reason why most people aren’t willing to go the extra mile to really have equality is because it won’t benefit them. Most people are self-serving, which is human nature so you have to fight back against that.”
What do you think of Union’s statement about Upton and Schumer?
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.