According to actress Rebel Wilson, there may be a "grey area".
Wilson came under fire on Twitter over the weekend when she tried to announce her new Romantic Comedy genre film, Isn't It Romantic?, by leading with the idea that she is first plus-sized leading actress in a rom-com. When Black women and WoC came to the defense of Queen Latifah and Mo'Nique, who both starred in their respective Romantic Comedies, Rebel Wilson went on a blocking spree while addressing it the best way... she could.
Rebel Wilson's response is something that many White women do when they find themselves wanting to set a standard that only benefits them, which is the motivation behind White Feminism. In order for them to be first or succeed, the rest of "us", must take a backseat. Her describing a non-existent rule of what qualifies as "plus sized" or a "rom-com" is a primary tactic of erasure.
At this point, Black and Brown women jumped into the conversation, educating Wilson on why her words hit a nerve. They offered her information, a way out, and even suggested how to apologize. Instead, she began to block. This turned into the #RebelWilsonBlockParty hashtag that plenty had fun with.
But the fun wasn't done just yet. Mo'Nique addressed the controversy herself, and Rebel was a bit more apologetic in her response.
Well... almost an apology.
Black Hollywood, especially the "Hollywood" for Black Women, is a tough hill to climb. This moment solidifies the critique White actresses receive when they cloak their issues with "solidarity". We often find erasure and White women donning themselves as the leaders of a movement Black & Brown women have been leading long before their entrance (see #MeToo and the erasure of Tarana Burke & the stories of Black women).
We hope that this was a lesson to not only Rebel Wilson, but plenty of popular White actresses as well. We need you to use your privilege to shine a light on issues that affect women of different colors, hold us up, bring us along with you, and not step on our toes. Hopefully, better decisions and words will be chosen in the future.