Tia Mowry is opening up about some the trials and tribulations she faced as a biracial child star in the 1990s.
In the new episode of her web series, Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix, the actress confessed she and her twin sister Tamera had a far different experience on sets compared to their counterparts in the industry who ‘weren’t of ethnicity.’
The former Sister Sister star alleges the twins faced pay inequality, compared to actors of their caliber and status, and cultural and biracial stereotypes.
Confession: Tia Mowry, 42, shared about the adversity she faced as a biracial child star in the 1990s in the new episode of her web series, Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix
Tia and Tamera began appearing in commercials and small roles in 1990 when they were about 12-years-old. But within a few short years they became household faces and names with their hit sitcom, Sister Sister, beginning in 1994.
During those years through the 90s, while also working on various projects, Tia began to notice the disparities that were oftentimes glaring.
‘It was very evident to me when I would walk on sets and see how certain stars or actors would be treated who weren’t of ethnicity — better dressing room, better trailer,’ she recalled.
‘Now I’m like, more aware what that was, which is a budget, but back then I didn’t know what a budget was. It was so clear how you would see one show that didn’t have a diverse cast that just had a bigger budget so everything just seemed bigger and better. But when it came to my projects and what I was doing, you actually really visually saw the less-than.’
Her take: In the new episode of her web series, Tia claimed she and her twin sister Tamera had a different experience on sets compared to their counterparts in the industry who ‘weren’t of ethnicity,’ which included ‘better dressing room, better trailer’
Breakthrough: Tia and Tamera became household faces and names during their six season run on Sister Sister from 1994-1999; the twins are pictured on the set of the hit sitcom
With the immense success of Sister Sister, which ran for six seasons, on her mind, Tia remembered how difficult it was to be paid what they felt like they were worth.
‘I remember once the show became a hit, it’s very normal for you to ask for a raise. That’s what happens, right? People get raises,’ she began as she thought back more than two decades.
‘But it was always so hard for my sister and I to get what we felt like we deserved and our paycheck never equaled our counterparts’ that weren’t of diversity; and that was frustrating. Very, very frustrating.’
Pay inequality: In the wake of Sister Sister becoming a hit, Tia said her and her sister’s ‘paycheck never equaled our counterparts’ that weren’t of diversity; and that was frustrating’
Stereotypes: The mother of two, 42, says she faced cultural and biracial stereotypes, which included being accused of not being ‘Black enough’; Tamera is pictured on the left with co-stars Tim Reid, Jackée Harry, Marques Houston and sister Tia
The now 42-year-old mother of two went on to share how her and her sister’s natural curly hair and lighter complexion were often a source of contention during auditions and on sets.
‘What was interesting about being biracial as an actor was how you would be labeled. You would have to fit in some sort of stereotype,’ she explained before offering one particular experience.
‘I’ve been told I’m not black enough which was very odd and weird to me. ‘You don’t look Black enough. I think you would fit more of the Latino role.’ It’s like, what? These were casting directors who did not understand the different shades of Black culture.’
She also believes those in power behind the scenes, like casting directors, producers and directors, had ‘one vision and one view, or one perspective, of what a Black girl should look like.’
Silver lining; Tia maintains the adversity she faced as a child star has helped shape her into being a hard worker and go-getter; she ic pictured at home on Monday
Seemingly priding herself as the ultimate professional, Tia maintained the adversity actually helped shape her impressive work ethic.
‘Nothing came easy to me. I always had to work harder then. I always had to be better then average,’ she confessed.
‘And I guess if I didn’t go through what I had gone through or if I didn’t see what I had seen when I was a child, I don’t think I would be where I am today, which is a hard freaking worker. Because guess what? It’s hard to outwork someone.’
With some confident defiance in her tone, she added, ‘and that’s why I become such a go-getter because I’m like, okay, if that’s how it’s going to be, well then I’m going to show you; I’m going to get to a place where you can’t treat me like that.’
Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix airs Fridays on Kin Network across YouTube and Facebook Watch.
Family matters: The actress has been married to her husband Cory Hardrict for 12-years, and are the proud parents of son Cree, 9 and daughter Cairo, two,