Sidney Poitier was at one point the biggest actor in the film industry, and had endless movie offers. However, there was something that was bothering him.
The mega star was a civil rights activist and with being so influential, he knew he had to challenge the system instead of being quiet about an important issue.
Typecasting happens when Black artists are expected to portray harmful, stereotypical roles. This not only is a hindrance to the progression of actors’ careers, but also in the ways Black people are portrayed on screen. It limits our complexity and stalls creativity. Poitier had his fair share of these types of roles and turned many down.
Still, Poitier became a trailblazer who paved the way for many other Black actors to come behind him and shake up Hollywood. He revolutionized the industry and played leading roles that helped to break down racial taboos in cinema and society at large.
Let this be a reminder to embrace different types of projects that help you think beyond societal norms and limits. Get out of your comfort zone, and let your creativity run free.