AFP/ Los Angeles
British actress Thandie Newton (pictured) is reverting to the original Zimbabwean spelling of her name, “Thandiwe” (pronounced “tan-DEE-way”), after decades in Hollywood, she said in a new interview with Vogue that was released this week.
Newton, the daughter of a white British father, Nick, and a Zimbabwean mother, Nyasha, said the spelling of her name – which means “beloved” in Shona – got changed in the credits for her first acting role, in 1991’s Flirting, when she was just 16.
Now, the Westworld star said, she is changing it back.
“That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine,” she was quoted as telling the British magazine.
Newton, long an advocate for women and survivors of sexual violence, has been outspoken about racist and sexual abuse in Hollywood.
In the Vogue interview Newton said that Flirting director John Duigan instructed her to “be a bit darker” for the role, and repeated allegations that the then-39-year-old embarked on what Newton has previously described as a “coerced” physical relationship with her.
She recalled other derogatory incidents of racism and sexual abuse, including a director who abused her and then showed footage of the incident to others.
“I was traumatised,” she told the magazine.
“Black women are truly the nexus where all of this overlaps,” she said. “Think of what else has the potential to heal if we support and care for black women.”
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