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48th NAACP Image Awards - Arrivals

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Since dropping her memoir This Is Just My Face: Try Not to StareGabourey Sidibe has been an open book—literally.

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On a recent episode of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, she shared that during her early 20s when she trying to break into acting, she was a phone sex operator a fact that was added to her book. And despite that fact that 95 percent of the staff comprised of Black women, supervisors wanted them to sound “white” on the phone.

“I make the joke that you think you’re calling Megan Fox but you’re calling Precious instead,” Sidibe told Noah.

“Because everyone looked like me but … we did not hire people, women who could not make their voices sound white because the average caller is a white man who watches TV all day and he wants to call the girl that he sees on TV who happens to be a white woman.”

The Oscar-nominated actress also said that she hated when white male callers would specifically ask for Black girls.

“Because they were racist,” she explained. “This is my voice … and the guys would call and they want me to sound blacker than my voice is. They want me to cut my words in half. They want me to say ‘ain’t.’”

She continued saying that if they didn’t believe that she was Black, they would try to test her by using racial stereotypes, such as did she like to eat watermelon. However, the Empire actress took these experiences and turned lemons into lemonade. Sidibe recently told WYNC that it strengthened her acting skills and help build confidence during auditions, including the one she did for Precious.

“I felt like I could be really, really powerful, as long as you could not see me. Which is a really interesting thing to come from when you become an actress,” she said. “To go from, you know, this brunette with a heart-shaped butt and, you know, really perky titties. To go from that to being the face of, you know, dark skin, black girl, from the hood, as Precious, who is, you know, a sexual abuse survivor. I think that was heavier than I allowed myself to know it was at the time.”

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