Tracee Ellis Ross And Gabrielle Union Speak About Black Actresses On TV

Union says we’re “painfully behind,” while Ellis Ross says “we’re pull[ing] the whole conversation forward.”

January 13, 2015

As two of Elle's 2015 Women In Television, Tracee Ellis Ross and Gabrielle Union got decked out (Ross in a very Solange-esque jumpsuit) and offered their perspectives on the industry's complexities for the magazine's most recent issue. Both spoke about the unavoidable realities of being a black woman on television, acknowledging the medium's slow progress. On her starring role in BET's Being Mary Jane, Union says, "If we can have drones, we can have brown people on TV, and the world won't end! We need to catch up. We are painfully behind." While Ross, FADER's favorite rap critic and star of Black-Ish offered a more optimistic assessment, "In 1950, the black experience was specific. But in this day and age, it isn't. Race, culture, family, socioeconomics, tradition—we're pulling from all those places to pull the whole conversation forward."

Lead Images: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images, Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

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Tracee Ellis Ross And Gabrielle Union Speak About Black Actresses On TV