‘Lovecraft Country’: HBO apologises after actress claims makeup artists darkened her skin

Kelli Amirah alleges she overheard makeup artists discuss darkening her skin

HBO has said it’s “very disappointed” to learn of claims made by a Lovecraft Country actress that her skin was darkened by makeup artists.

Kelli Amirah, an extra portraying a younger version of a character for a wedding photo in the fantasy horror series, last month alleged that she overheard makeup artists saying her skin tone was lighter than the older actress’.

Amirah made the claims in a TikTok video, sharing before and after pictures of her on set.

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“I noticed my foundation is getting darker and darker,” Amirah recalled of the alleged situation in the clip. “Before I show these pictures, I’m going to preface this by saying I was so uncomfortable. I had no idea they were going to do this to me beforehand. And if I knew beforehand, I would not have accepted this job. Who thought this was a good idea?”

@kelliamirah

Reply to @selahhassni they really did me like Zoe saldana as Nina Simone #storytime #extra #backgroundactor #tvfilm #blackfishing #onset #part2

♬ original sound – KelliAmirah

Now, HBO has released a statement via The Hollywood Reporter saying it’s “very disappointed” to hear about Amirah’s claims. “This should not have happened, and we are taking steps to ensure this doesn’t occur again in the future.”

Last week (March 6) Amirah took to Twitter to say that she understands people’s “very valid critiques for my complacency”, apologising for not questioning what the makeup team was doing at the time.

“I didn’t say shit. I got very quiet and withdrawn and went through with the job like a coward. I was selfish and more concerned with the repercussions of my own career instead of doing what’s right and not participating in something that I KNEW was wrong,” Amirah wrote in a thread.

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In other news, HBO said last month that it’s “very hopeful” of a second season of Lovecraft Country. The show, headed up by Misha Green, aired its first season last year based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff.

HBO and HBO Max’s chief content officer Casey Bloys have now discussed the prospect of taking the story beyond the events of the book in a prospective second season.

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