I too face racism, sexism: GoT star Nathalie Emmanuel
New Delhi : "Game of Thrones" star Nathalie Emmanuel says racism and sexism are realities of her life, but instead of getting hurt, angry or insecure, she uses it to send out a positive message and empower people who look up to her.
She shares her experience on her social media handles with the intention to send out the message that racism is universal and it doesn't care about your career or your position in it.
"A lot of people have a perception about somebody like me who lives in the public eye. They think that you (do not face) racism and sexism because you are are famous and in a privileged position... which of course is not the case," Emmanuel told IANS over the phone.
The actress says she has taken it upon herself eventually "to teach people and to show people that racism is universal".
"It doesn't matter where you are in your career, or which career you are in, racism happens, sexism happens. I thought that instead of carrying the anger of that hurt and the insecurity that I might have as a result of such comments, I would rather have some young person somewhere say, 'Oh, that happens to her too', and be a little bit less lonely."
As part of her mission, Emmanuel shared a screenshot of a racist and misogynist comment from an online troller back in April. The comment was: "Go back to Africa you black c--t, you are famous on white man's land not in your black monkey ancestors country."
While sharing the abusive comment, she wrote: "In case anyone was wondering what having to deal with regular misogyny and racism is like... Here you go.... Sending love and thanks to everyone fighting the good fight, whatever background you come from."
Asked about her way of dealing with online trollers questioning her culture, background, ethnicity and gender, she says her mantra is to ignore people "who are bored at home and need a little bit of attention".
"There will always be people who don't like what you have to say. There will always be people who disagree with you. So, generally, I tend to ignore a lot of it. I don't really pay much mind or take it to heart... Because a lot of time if we pass them on a street, they would not have the guts to say it on your face.
"But what I try to do is try to send them positivity and pray that they find some happiness."
The actress entered showbiz with the "Hollyoaks" series, but her big ticket came with the role of Missandei in "Game of Thrones".
On the film front, she has done projects like "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials", "Furious 7", "The Fate of the Furious" and "Maze Runner: The Death Cure". "The Fate of the Furious" will premiere on Indian small screen on August 11 on Sony PIX.
Emmanuel feels things are changing with the wide impact of #MeToo and Time's Up movements.
"I think there is a movement happening. There is a fire behind many communities within TV and films. It is happening socially, politically... They are shutting down racism, sexism, misogyny and any other phobias -- be it related to homosexuals or transgenders
"There is a need to dismantle certain things, like telling only the story of a specific group. Now, it has opened up the stage to tell everybody's story."
"There (have been) some amazing steps made, but also a long way to go," said the actress, who is excited about the final season of "Game of Thrones".
(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at email@example.com )