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If black TV stars are treated so differently, what can the rest of us expect?

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There are a lot of things that black movie stars don’t usually tell you. Like how, as one major LA agent told me, even the most famous have struggled for years to enjoy anything like the same level of income from brand endorsements as their white peers. A black Hollywood A-lister told me she got through an entire major big-budget movie with a £30 wig from a downmarket hair shop because on day one of filming, it was all she had on her; no one had thought to source anything better. And no one talks about the devastation of hair loss, and the damage and vanishing hairlines that come from years of bad styling on set.

David Harewood – the black British actor who has made it big in the US on series such as Homeland and Supergirl – told me about his history of botched barbering attempts when I interviewed him for my book Brit(ish). “Every time I work in the States, I have had to have my hair cut outside of the set,” he said. “And I think to myself: ‘Surely this is wrong – why am I having to go and drive half an hour up to the road to a black barber?’ It’s not just principle, but a business case – think of the time I’m losing!”

Now a number of American actors are speaking out, describing how they have to invest their time and money on hairstyling that white actors consider part of the standard pre-production........

© The Guardian