Akon recently denied allegations on TMZ that dark skinned models were turned away from the ‘Roll It’ video shoot with Wizkid and Banky W as above but that is far from the truth. I guess as we all love Akon it is easy to believe it isn’t true.
In our previous article, we wrote that a model reported being rejected from Akon’s video alongside other dark skinned girls, because the model agent was asked to bring “Half Caste” girls. Well the agent speaks out in the video below.
If you chose to think this is impossible and it can’t be, then find the video where Akon has used a black woman and not a mixed race girl as a main character. I was once told by a video producer from USA, that there are mainstream TV channels in America that will give you little to no airplay if your video uses dark skinned women. Maybe it is a preference, maybe it is a business move.
Remember, we took it lightly when we said dark skinned girls were rejected, but the truth is it should have been worded that BLACK GIRLS were rejected for the search of half caste/mixed race girls, including both light and dark.
There is no identifying from our part if it means the video had enough black girls or no black girls or they were seeking a particular proportion. And if it was, there is still a chance the music video producer can go back and highlight the dark skinned girls to attempt to debunk this story. We just called it as it is. Just as the agent states in the video and just as Akon and his international pr is helping clear him from.
A FEW THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO CLARIFY IF YOU WISH TO READ FURTHER (IMPORTANT)
1/ THE MODEL – For comments that queried that she did this for popularity. To be corrected, she only revealed this to myself in a discussion where I was giving her advise on developing herself as a model. At the moment when I questioned her about her prior modelling engagements, we discussed this incident including others. I asked her why she did not get the job, after giving me her answer I asked if I could publish it, she said ok. She had no clue it will turn into a viral story sparking TMZ to question Akon about it. The racist incident happened 3 weeks before we broke the story. And she still is unaware how big the story is now.
2/ THE MODEL AGENT – The guy who was forced to turn the girls away and said “THEY” wanted half cast girls is heard in the interview above. In his defense, he is an international agent working in Ghana, Nigeria to South Africa. When I initially wrote the article I wasn’t aware he was someone I previously knew. He is busy 99% of the time, and I am sure he is also not aware this is a viral story yet.
3/ THE CASTING DIRECTOR/VIDEO PRODUCER – It would be easy to believe usually these decisions are made by the video producers during auditions and castings. And we would have probably blasted their names out if we felt they were behind this decision. And we do know who they are by research. But for the music producer to comply without limitations and then to reject girls DURING THE DAY OF THE SHOOT for something as petty as skin tone (in Ghana), it can only mean orders were by a high authority, in this case, either artists or record label. You would have to live here to get my point
4/ AKON, WIZKID & BANKY W – We should not expect any of these guys to admit they are racially motivated. Why would they want to lose money from black women and the wider world sensitive to prejudice? What kind of answer does TMZ expect? Business is business.
5/ FASHIONGHANA.com – We are not set up here to chase celebrities and their skin tone or racial preference. Our aim is to promote, support and push African fashion and fashion in Africa. Being that this was a model related story that occured in Africa we thought we will let people know, and condemn it from our perspective. Plus as said before, it is acts like this that further the skin bleaching epidemic that has plagued the countries where Akon, Wizkid and Banky W are from, Senegal and Nigeria.
Now if the video had a story line, ie. they wanted to portray a feel of being in a foreign country such as Brazil. Or the girls was from a mixed parent home, or maybe they were using a dark scenery and their lightening was bad. It could be understandable. But really? To come to Africa, put this together, and then simply tell girls they can’t just simply dance in your video because they are not mixed, really exposes how these artists are low lifes. And if it’s not them, then call out who it is and stop denying as it is your face that travels with this message.
Do we believe we can change this? Possibly, maybe some artists will read this and see and try to oppose the status quo, however for those that continue to push this, all that will happen is they will be more slicker with their rejections. Just like how it is in the fashion industry abroad where people know there is racism but don’t know who is making the decisions.
Acts like this sends messages to the model agents, the casting directors, and the video producers. And what happens next is, before the artist has even called out the preference, these people have already made a clear distinction of who they intend to audition or neglect simply to keep their jobs. Then before you know it, there is a culture of skin tone discrimination despite if it doesn’t even apply to those involved.
So Akon can continue to deny, but he is not the basis to why we broke this story! We are glad people and press are speaking out. Such people need to be called out, no matter how good or bad their songs are. Because their acts will forever be tied to the notion of skin bleaching and racial preference messages being sent to the young people of today, when a man as dark as Akon always and only appears next to mixed women. Then again, if it is just preference, why wouldn’t he simply admit it, and why can’t we then accept the same for all forms of jobs and also the mainstream fashion industry?