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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Zendaya Details the “Heavy Responsibility” She Faces as a Black Woman in Hollywood

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Zendaya is opening up about what it means to be a Black woman in Hollywood.

Though the Euphoria star is only 23-years-old, she tells The Hollywood Reporter, along with actresses Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer AnistonHelena Bonham CarterRose Byrne and Janelle Monae, that she feels a “heavy responsibility on [her] shoulders” to be a positive role model, something she says she’s “appreciative of.”

“There’s a lot of good that I can do and I know who is watching,” the former Disney star explains. “Now, more than ever, specifically with Black Lives Matter and everything, I feel an obligation to make sure that I’m aware and putting out the right things and in line with organizers and people who are on the ground.” 

Describing herself as her own “biggest critic,” Zendaya says the pressure to avoid mistakes is a “constant thing.”

“Being a young Disney actor, that’s one level, being a young Black woman is one level, and then being very hard on myself is another level,” she explains. “It’s also just a personal fear. I want to do a good job, and sometimes that can cause you to be fearful of things. But I will say that there’s something that happens when a special character comes along, for me at least, and those fears melt away.”

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