Coco Jones Talks Industry’s Treatment Of Dark-Skinned Black Girls
Having worked in Hollywood for over a decade, Coco Jones says she’s finally starting to see a change in its treatment of dark-skinned Black women.
Fans would consider this to be quite the statement from the 25-year-old. She’s been very vocal about her struggles dealing with racism in the past. But in a new interview with PEOPLE, Jones expressed that the industry is providing more opportunities to dark-skinned Black women in comparison to when she was coming up.
She told the publication, “I definitely feel like the industry for dark-skinned Black women has gotten better and better, especially since I was a young girl.”
“And I think the more storylines and the more positions of power that are told from a woman of color’s perspective, the more opportunities [there are] for women to play those roles and to hire women that would understand those storylines.”
Coco Jones’ Colorism Concerns
In 2020, Coco Jones went viral with her YouTube video, ‘What Really Happened.’ She revealed the harsh reality of what it’s like to be a dark-skinned actress in an industry that often favors lighter skin.
She also opened up on why she felt her career had derailed after landing her big break on Disney Channel.
hearing coco jones talking about the colorism she faced in the industry made me so upset. she deserved so much better than how this industry treated her pic.twitter.com/Ahwssb0tsL
— ً (@westsiriss) September 12, 2020
In 2012, Jones starred in the movie ‘Let It Shine’ opposite Tyler James Williams. The film’s success opened doors for Jones to feature in the sitcom ‘Good Luck Charlie.’
However, the ‘ICU’ artist revealed in her YouTube video that the industry often sidelined her for roles in favor of lighter-skinned actresses, despite her talent being equal, if not better.
“What I think was the most, like, traumatic thing about it for me is that, I was like, ‘Alright, if I can just let them see my talent, then they’ll believe in me,’” she said.
Executives began to feel like she wasn’t marketable to their audience, so they decided to drop her from future projects. She said this display of colorism deeply affected her self-esteem and had severe implications for her career growth.
As a young star under Disney’s wing, Jones had expected support and protection from discriminatory practices.
Instead, she claimed to face the reality of colorism within the company as she recalled instances where she felt overlooked for roles because of her skin color.
if coco jones aint proof of colorism idk what is. best disney movie. best disney vocalist. she was literally 13-14. yall better go give that girl the love she deserves pic.twitter.com/knmybQcZga
— pretty girl 🍉 (@inshemood) March 20, 2022
“I don’t see any mediocracy in women that look like me.” -Coco Jones and dang near every dark skinned Black woman excelling in their field. Because of #colorism we aren’t granted ANY level of grace, compassion or space for error. pic.twitter.com/MVwnd2YodX
— Nicki Mayo (@nickimayonews) July 1, 2023
“But they would really hear me sing, hear me act, see me dance […] and because someone looks a little bit more marketable, doesn’t matter, baby girl. So, that’s traumatizing as a little kid. You don’t know how to cope, like, you’re looking at yourself like, ‘What did I do?’
She used her platform to encourage young girls of color to embrace their beauty and fight against such discrimination, all while jumpstarting a music career.
Jones went on to release a string of EPs in 2014 that would eventually lead her to sign a record deal with Def Jam Recordings two years later.