Singer and songwriter, Dawn Richard recently did an interview with Cosmopolitan announcing the reunion of the group Dannity Kane. In the interview she revealed that she was called too dark by the CEO of Interscope Records, Jimmy Iovine. The backstory starts when P. Diddy formed an R&B/pop duo called Dirty Money, composed of Dawn Richard and Kalenna Parker. When Diddy presented the group in front of a boardroom of record label executives, Jimmy Iovine disparaged the looks of both of the women and asked why Diddy couldn’t have found some lighter skinned women instead. Richard quotes:
Jimmy Iovine told Kalenna and I to our face, he looked at Puff and said, “Why don’t you have two light skinned girls?” in front of a boardroom of fifty people… He said “These girls are too ugly. I don’t get it. What are you trying to do with this?”…You know you’re more than this and you’re sitting there and you’re being told as a grown woman you’re ugly.
She also revealed that she received little consolation from Diddy, who was more eager to make sure the group received label backing:
And the worst part was my boss then said when we left, “I need y’all to go put on a mini-skirt and we’re gonna straighten your hair” and they brought us back in the room. And he still didn’t get it. No one fought for us, ever, We’ve only had to fight for ourselves.
The reality of colorism in the music industry is a sad shame.