‘Watchmen’ Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Says Racist White Woman Called The Cops On Him In College

"I'm gonna tell them that you're trying to rape me."

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is doing some reflecting about instances of racism he’s experienced in his life, which began at a pretty young age.

In an essay he penned for the September issue of Men’s Health, the Watchmen and Candyman star shared a firsthand account of the first time he was put through “victimization centered on my Blackness.”

During his freshman year at UC Berkeley, when he was just 18 years old, Abdul-Mateen says during a late-night walk to a studio on campus, he ended up walking a few steps behind a female student.

"She must have felt me walking behind her, because she began to hurry," he wrote. "She made it to the door, and as she was going to close it behind her, I tried to go in after her. She turned around and pulled on the door and wouldn’t let me in. She said, 'Stop, you don't belong here.' I said, 'What are you talking about? I'm going to the studio. I'm going to the same place as you.' And she said, 'Please stop. You don't belong here.'"

As Abdul-Mateen attempted to prove he was a student by pulling out his student ID, the woman said, "I'm gonna call the police and tell them that you're trying to rape me." When he then tried to pull the door open, "she began running and screaming at the top of her lungs, 'Help! Help! He's trying to rape me!"

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"It's 1:00 a.m., and I'm trying to get her to be quiet, but she's still screaming, so I just stopped and let her walk," the now-34-year-old explained. "I knew there was no rationalizing with this person. Two minutes later, I walked up to the studio and sat down at a computer. I saw her across the room, but she wouldn’t make eye contact."

Eventually, the campus police did show up, and after speaking with him, Abdul-Mateen said they "apologized and left."

"I went back to my computer to work, and I remember being so angry that I cried," he said. "It was frustrating. I deserved to be there. Period. That was my reminder that even if I did everything right -- played the game by the book -- some things in life would be unavoidable. Because I was Black. I was 18 years old. I did the only thing I knew to do. I cried, and I swallowed that s**t."

Yahya Abdul-Mateen also revealed that therapy has really helped him. 

"With my therapist, I wanted to be able to talk about being Black. I wanted to be able to use my vernacular," he said. "I didn't want to have to explain what it felt like to have someone follow me around the store. I just wanted to talk about the fact that it happened and have that person understand."

Read the full essay here.

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