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“Hollywood Diva” Paula Jai Parker knows it’s hard out here for a black actress, that’s why she has no problem accepting roles on both the big and small screen that other A-listers – like “Empire’s” Taraji P. Henson – turn down.

In a recent chat with Mara The Hip Hop Socialite, Paula talks overcoming homelessness, bouncing back from being blackballed in Hollywood, and why black showrunners need to cater more to the black audience. She also shared her excitement over the leading actors in Hollywood being of color:

“Well I think they’re buying into it because they think it’s the trendy thing to do, but we know what we want to see,” Paula said. “And the beauty of a show like ‘Empire’ doing so well, and the fact that they are calling it ‘Hustle & Flow’ point two has brought down this whole trickle effect on the rest of us.”

Parker went on to explain how the success of Black sitcoms like “Blackish” have opened the doors for her:

“You see now Anthony [Anderson]’s show is a hit on ABC. Elise and I have been working – me nonstop, you know. I’m the go-to now. You can’t have Cookie, call Paula! [laughs] Hey!! Here I am! What you want?? Where it at? I’ll take it! We’re represented by the same people, so that helps too that when they call and ask for Taraji [P. Henson], and she can’t do it, and the manager passes it. ‘But we got Elise and Paula.’ You know, so I don’t mind anybody’s leftovers as long as I’m working, honey, I’ll eat it! [laughs] Yes, please! My baby can’t do it all — I’ll take it! So yes, I’m very excited.”

Most notable from the interview is Paula’s bravery for calling out Black showrunners and producers who tend to favor catering to the mainstream audience (read: White):

“We all knew that Empire was going to be a hit because we want to see us, and they don’t give us enough real enough for us, and when we get it real, we will watch it. And what we like, they like. And this is what I think a lot of black producers and showrunners and directors get twisted. They try to cater to them, when all they have to do is cater to us because what we like, they will like.”

Paula was blackballed from the 2006 movie “Idlewild.” She explained how she learned of the news, brushing it off as simply the nature of the business:

“It was told to me that phone calls had been made by certain people to try to prevent me from getting the job on ‘Idlewild’. HBO let me know that phone calls had been made to them. My agents at the time, William Morris, told me that they had received phone calls. And ultimately, I got dropped from my agent – one of the biggest, one of the first – and ultimately, they released me and let me go. It’s just the nature of Hollywood.”

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(Photo Source: Paula Jai Parker Twitter)