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Nicole Byer Says She Was Once Asked to “Be Blacker” in an Audition

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This casting director’s request is one Nicole Byer and other Hollywood actors have grown all too familiar with.

Live From E!‘s Laverne Cox chatted with some of this year’s biggest Emmy-nominated stars on the Sept. 5 E! special If We’re Being Honest. Nominated a third time this year for her role as host on Netflix‘s Nailed It!, Byer recalled one her most uncomfortable audition experiences.

“Allegedly, a casting director asked you to ‘talk more Black’ at one point?” Cox asked Byer, who made history as the first Black female nominee for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program in 2020. Byer responded, “Allegedly? It happened so much.”

And while Byer can crack a joke in any situation, she got real when looking back at the experience. “Usually, they say ‘sassy, more street, more urban,'” she continued. “But I read it, and she was like, ‘Can you be Blacker?’ I was just playing a fairy. And she was like, ‘Be as Black as you can be. If you go too Black, I’ll bring you back.'”



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