See Why Halle Berry Was Fired From The 90s Film, “Strictly Business”

Posted On : January 5, 2016

fb halle berry strictly businessThe year was 1990 and Halle Berry had just been hired and all set to get her acting on in the 90’s film, Strictly Business, which also starred some other heavyweight actors, such as Tommy Davidson, Samuel Jackson, Joseph C. Phillips, and more. Then Halle was suddenly fired…and then re-hired again. We decided to share this throwback 1993 interview Halle did with Arsenio Hall where she revealed why she got the boot, because the topic of color casting and stereotyping in Hollywood is still a very relevant topic in Hollywood and it was the sole reason behind Halle getting handed her walking papers.

Halle Berry with her "Strictly Business co-stars, John C. Phillips (L) and Tommy Davidson (R); 1991
Halle Berry with her “Strictly Business co-stars, John C. Phillips (L) and Tommy Davidson (R); 1991
Halle Berry played the love interest of Joseph C. Phillip's character in "Strictly Business", 1991
Halle Berry played the love interest of Joseph C. Phillip’s character in “Strictly Business”, 1991

Halle explained to Arsenio that she was fired from the film by the FIRST director (not by actor/director Kevin Hooks, who ultimately ended up directing the movie) just two days after she was hired because she was light skin and the FIRST director was tired of having the role of the beautiful girl/love interest in Hollywood be played by light skin actresses. The FIRST director thought there needed to be more diversity in that arena.

So how did Halle end up actually getting the lead role again in Strictly Business? She said that a dark skin actress was hired to replace her, but that it didn’t work out. Then the FIRST director left and that’s when Kevin Hooks was hired to direct the movie, and Halle was rehired again for the part two days later and she killed it!

Check out the short video below to see Halle explained the details of what really happened…

Now I have to admit that I definitely understand where the FIRST director was coming from and he made a great point, because unfortunately Hollywood does constantly put the message out to society of ‘if it ain’t light, it ain’t right’ when it typically comes to what is deemed as beautiful for women of color. BUT I also agree with Halle when she said that he should have made that decision BEFORE they actually decided to cast her for the role.
HALLE BERRY Speaking of typecasting, that has obviously taken place in far more than a few movies, so we thought we’d highlight some of  the rare times when a brown, or dark skin woman was actually hoisted into the role of representing “the beautiful one” in a movie, just for the fun of it. Tap the ‘next’ button and tell us which of these 4 films were your favorite…