Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nia Long Fired from the Cleveland Show

In speaking with Black Voices, Long talks about her involvement, being open about the taboo subject and her short sting on 'The Cleveland Show.'

How did you end up being in the documentary?

Nia Long: It was definitely Chris. Chris is a genius when it comes to women's issues, making them funny and giving us something to think about. He does an amazing job in talking about things that we think are sensitive subjects, but important subjects. This is something that we need to have dialogue with each other about. What do we celebrate? Do we honor ourselves in our most organic state, or do we feel that we need to alter in order to feel beautiful?

Did you and Chris discuss your part for the film?

NL: No. There was no pre-interview. We just went for it.

How open did you want to be?

NL: When you are going to do a project like this, you have to be totally honest and open. Otherwise, there is no point in doing it. The things I said on camera are the things that most women think about but never say. I know it's a delicate subject within the black community, and black women and our hair have a love-hate relationship at times. Chris was able to give us insight about hair coming from India, but he also gave us something to ponder in terms of our own history and how we value our beauty. Are we changing our looks to assimilate to look more like White women, or are we simply making a fashion-conscious decision that happens to be our hair? When you look at what's celebrated in the media and what's acknowledged, there are very few images that look like us.

After seeing the finished film, do you think anything was left out?

NL: This is a topic that could have taken a million different turns, and there could have been plenty of subtopics under this. But there's only so much you can put in a movie within a time frame. If you look at it as a contemporary film that explores the journey of the hair weave and deals with some of the social issues that women have with their hair, then it's a good piece.

As a person who's invited to many events, how challenging is it for you to work with your hair?

NL: To be honest, I just go with whatever my mood is. I don't sit there and say, "What am I going to do?" I don't think about that much. I just make a choice.

Can you talk about your experience on 'Guiding Light,' which ended last month after more than 70 years on the air, radio and TV?

NL: It was amazing. Working on a soap opera is like going to four years of college. You learn a lot really fast. I was a series regular and on the show for three years before I started doing films.

Why were you replaced by Reagan Gomez-Preston 'The Cleveland Show'?

NL: I did the first 14 episodes, and they decided that they wanted a less-mature voice to be the 15-year-old daughter. That's the way it goes.

Will you do another TV project?

NL: I was on 'Third Watch,' 'Big Shots,' and my focus is to do good work, and I'm very careful about the projects I take. I've been in this game for 20 years. I'm a mother, and that's a big priority in my life. We'll see what happens next.

Taraji's Pretty Wings

Check out Taraji on the cover Upscale Magazine this month. She talks about her life after giving birth to her son and the passion for following her dreams. She also talks about staying grounded and focused.


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My name is Keedra and I hail from Atlanta, GA. I am an original peach...please believe it! I am a Grady baby. You have to be from Atlanta to understand that.

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