When I got an email today alerting me to the fact that Nia Long was on the cover of a magazine, I was totally stoked. Unfortunately, the text that accompanied the e-mail left me a bit cold. Indeed the lovely Nia is gracing the cover of a magazine, the UK’s version of Essence- Pride Magazine. Unfortunately, the interviewer set Nia up and and girlfriend hit it outta the ballpark. Nia complained about singers being given acting jobs over longtime accomplished professionals- a complaint Samuel L. Jackson made some years ago as well about rappers. However, the interviewer took it a bit further and asked Nia specifically about Beyonce. Below is what the actress had to say.
I didn’t see ‘Obsessed,’ so I can’t comment, but it’s just not about how talented you are anymore. It’s about, ‘How much box-office revenue will this person generate?’ When you see certain people – we won’t name names – they just don’t have the skill, and no one in their team has said, ‘You need acting classes,’” Long replied.
I actually have no problem with Nia’s comments and believe she is absolutely right. In Black movies, singers and rappers are being called in to play roles they are often unfit for simply because they have a built in audience. This is the case with Beyonce, as it was with 50 Cent when Samuel spoke on it. However, I hate that a great Nia article has been reduced to headlines such as “Nia Disses Beyonce”.
Both of these sisters have worked hard in their respective fields and deserve all the success they have. I see no reason to try and pit one against the other, which is what I think the interviewer tried to do.