So many people had pointed out to me that as Black girl in Canada it was great just to see my face on the screen and so I continued on.
Recently I had a conversation with a filmmaker in Canada who had worked with me while I was on Degrassi and he unfortunately confirmed to me the feelings that I had always had but never wanted to admit to. Degrassi had an issue with my race. He told me how the writers and producers had no intentions of developing the story lines of a Black female character unless it was to enhance the story of one of their other white characters. They had some plans for some of the other Black characters on the show but their ideas were only to cover the usual stereotypes that we see of people of color on television - teen pregnancy, petty theft, basketball, broken family homes etc and he usually had to fight with them to think out of the box with those characters to not have them go down the road of the usual cliches. He told me to get them to do the one major story line that my character had was like pulling teeth and after a few more years of working on the show he had to leave because of the blatant hierarchy system that they had in place and he couldn’t work with people who didn’t share the same beliefs."
- A REAL conversation about Degrassi, Andrea Lewis (Hazel)
A lot of truth there guys.
I recommend reading her entire post here:
If I wasn’t before, I’m now officially done watching this show.
“I’m always offended when I read or hear someone say “Hazel was my least favorite character” or “Hazel didn’t do shit on the show” I recognize that “Hazel” is not me and I shouldn’t take it to heart but it always stings just a bit because I know that “Hazel” and myself never got a chance to shine on the show for very ugly reasons.”
This part can be applied to a lot of Black women characters.