HBO has issued a statement of apology after an extra from Lovecraft Country revealed her skin was darkened for the series in a now-viral TikTok video.
Kelli Amirah posted a video with the caption, “They really did me like Zoe saldana as Nina Simone,” which was a reference to Saldana’s widely panned role in 2016’s Nina.
Although she didn’t name the show, people quickly figured out it was Lovecraft Country.
Amirah said in the video, “I was so uncomfortable. I had no idea they were going to do this to me, and if I had known beforehand I would not have accepted the job.”
See the video below:
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According to The Wrap, Amirah portrayed a young Ms. Osberta on her wedding day and was paid $100.
After the video went viral, HBO released the following statement to The Wrap on March 8, “We were very disappointed to learn of Ms. Amirah’s experience. This should not have happened, and we are taking steps to ensure this doesn’t occur again in the future.”
Lovecraft Country was a one-hour drama based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff. The show follows Atticus Black as he joins his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father.
It’s not known if Lovecraft Country will be renewed for season two.
(Screenshot of video by Kelli Amirah via TikTok)