jasika nicole

It’s funny, it’s so complicated because I’d love to play a queer woman on a television show but that’s only because I think we need to see more queer women on television, not because it’s the only thing I can play, certainly. Whenever there’s a space that’s lacking, I’d love to be able to slide in. That’s why with, like The Mindy Kaling Project. I was just Facebooking about it today. I can’t tell you — the first time I saw that pilot — I’m not into romantic comedies. That’s not really my go-to genre. When I saw that pilot, just seeing a woman with skin that looked like mine seem so unapologetic and very un-selfconciouss just made such a huge difference to me. It was unbelievable. It made me want to watch her show, even though I’m not into romantic comedies. There’s something about that that I can relate to. And then there are people who don’t have dark skin necessarily but do like romantic comedies and can relate to looking for love in the modern world or whatever. There’s just so much space for people to have recognition within characters of colors or characters that are queer or gender nonconforming and I feel like we don’t give audiences enough credit to be able to handle that kind of stuff.

Jasika Nicole on being a queer woman of color in Hollywood

Do you feel like we’re making progress with the representation of women of color on television?

I want it! I want the progress and I want to move in a forward direction! The optimist in me wants to be excited that we have Kerry Washington and now we’ve got Viola Davis, and we’ve got shows like Black-ish, and while Tracee Ellis Ross isn’t the lead, she’s co-starring as the lead. So I do get excited about that, wondering who’s going to come next. But then I remember when we had a lot of black television shows on, and we were like, “Yeah! This is it!” And then it sort of disappeared overnight.

And we’re just now slowly getting back to this position. So, I do feel excited but I also want to be realistic and acknowledge that not all trends stick around. I hope that it does! I hope that it continues to move forward! But television is a really scary world. You can never place your bets on anything. I think you can put so many people of color on TV shows, but until there are more people of color who are making those decisions to put those actors and actresses in those roles, we’re not quite at that point yet. We need more Shonda Rhimes in our lives.

Jasika Nicole Will Teach You Embroidery and Social Justice: The Autostraddle Interview (Photos by Robin Roemer)


“Those who pass us by do not go alone, do not leave us alone. They leave a little bit of them, they take a little bit of us.”

09/09/2008 - 18/01/2013