Paula Patton On Black Women Dating Interracially: “At The End Of The Day, You Need To Be Happy”

August 22, 2013  |

We’re sure you heard the story about how Paula Patton wouldn’t take her high school sweetheart hubby Robin Thicke  with her to prom because he’s white. Though it may sound like an odd tale given how long the couple has been together and how in love they appear to be, the notion of being hesitant to showcase your interracial love is not an uncommon one. That’s why when we caught up with Miss Patton at the press junket for “Baggage Claim” we had to ask the star of the upcoming romantic comedy what advice she has for black women who might be struggling with being open with their interracial relationship like she once was. Speaking on her own experience, here’s what we got from Paula Patton on black women dating interracially:

“In high school, I was the vice president of the Black Student Union, that was not a good relationship for me,” she said speaking of her decision not to go to prom with Robin. “That’s when you care what other people think.  At the end of the day, you have to go with your heart and that’s something that was also true in the movie [“Baggage Claim”].

“It’s not a good thing to care what other people think. At the end of the day, you need to be happy, no one else is living in your house with you.”

And the church says Amen.

Switching the topic to the 37-year-old’s career, we also asked Paula about her film trajectory and whether she’s worried at all about being typecast. And then we just got downright nosy and asked the starlet who has been her favorite co-star out of all the fine men she’s worked with over the past few years. Here’s what she said:

On Worrying about being typecast and having a genre preference

“I’m not worried about being typecast — not yet — because I don’t think people really know who  I am. I’m a little schizophrenic; I don’t know who I am.”

“I love them all, to be honest with you,” she said speaking of movie genres she’s played in. “I love movies. I’ve loved movies since I was a little girl. It’s about the project as a whole. At first I want to make sure it’s a project I want to see, and secondly I look at the role to see is it something that’s going  to challenge me and something I can sink my teeth into and that’s how I go forth [with my roles] – not based on genre.”

Her favorite male co-star

“I don’t pick favorites. I cannot answer that question. My husband is my favorite. There may be a random thing here or there that wasn’t perfect, but generally everybody I worked with I loved and they had their own great qualities that are unique to them.

“I will say this much, though, Denzel played such an enormous part in my career. This is my second film having a lead role [with him] and I’ve been impressed with him my whole life. He’s one of the greatest actors of all time, so in many ways, he doesn’t know it, but he’s my mentor and he’s been my mentor. When I worked with him, he didn’t teach me, but I learned by watching. I said if Denzel’s doing it, I’m going to do it, so I’ve taken that with me through every film since, so it was such an honor that he wanted to work with me again, but it was also a refresher course too. So I’ll say he was special as my mentor.”


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  • kwame

    Its very disconcerting and a tremendous insult that I see a surge in black Women dating White Men. I don’t disagree with black women dating interracial but its for the wrong reasons socio-economics popular trend and stero types are influencing these decisions but should not be a precedent. A relationship should constitute two people that naturally have love and respect for one another. And these relationships are often monetarily fueled. And yes she is a hypocrite
    and that why she didnt invite Mr thick to her function. But again many men have fought for the rights for black women could be free and date who she chooses guess you ask what you wish for.

  • andalso

    still waiting for my white better half to show up in my life….. we would make the perfect couple

  • Nickie

    It’s like Sarah Silverman said: ‘I once had half black boyfriend. But I’m an optimist, so i prefer to call him half white”. 😀

  • scandalous7

    shes not even black like people want her to be to get excited about her marriage to Robin Thicke. (its the truth).

  • SexNdaCity

    I find it odd that she, as a half black/half white woman, felt strange about going to the prom with her then white boyfriend…I mean did no one else at the school realize she was biracial? This is silly to me. lol. And another thing I don’t understand is why people still consider a biracial person (who is half black/half white) dating a white person an interracial relationship, but yet if they were to date a black person, it’s not considered interracial…

    • Guest

      You don’t understand?
      Biracials aren’t given a pass from being considered ‘non white’..

  • Tony Williams

    She is as black as am Jewish lol.

  • Camille

    She mixed so that doesn’t make them an interracial couple.

    • Tony Williams

      High 5, exactly she is half white. and she is clearly more to the white side. he can have her.

  • Hannibal


  • me

    What she said about her prom was interesting because I know someone who was the head of a prominent black organization where I am from and he ended up marrying a white woman. Most were cool with it, but some people did have jokes about it and rode him a bit – I think it was a weird dichotomy for a lot of people. But, they are still together to this very day and he’s not the kinda guy who would date a woman strictly because she’s white. She’s just the one he met and fell for and they’re happy. Paula and Robin seem like they are a good fit so I say more power to them. You get one life and everybody should be happy!

  • Machone

    If Robin was black, Paula would still be waiting on that ring…..

    • Hannibal


  • IllyPhilly

    Here we go…. Let’s cover what most of the comments will be based on about this subject.

    1. Other races aren’t checking for Black women unless they’re light-skinned.

    2. It’s easy to say that when you’re rich and famous.

    3. I married a non-Black man and I’ve never been happier.

    4. I h@te Black men! (because for some reason some of these females on here need to shout that out.)

    5. Damn MN y’all can’t stop talking ’bout race mixing! You guys are so immature.

    6. Why did I even click on this article?

    Did I get everything?

    • guest

      LOVE YOU FOR THIS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nope

    “…what advice she has for black women who might be struggling with being open with their interracial relationship like she once was.”

    Beyond watching p0rnography, most other races aren’t really checking for Black women.

    • IllyPhilly

      No, they’re not checking for you. ALOT of BLACK women (dark to light) date interracial marry their “other” man. So wrap that tired old azz theory up and dump it in the trash.

      • Nope

        That’s statically false. Way more Black men date and marry interracially than do Black women. I mean, isn’t that the common complaint among Black women to begin with? Pick one side of the fence to argue over.

        • IllyPhilly

          WTF does Black men dating outside their race have to do with how many other races like Black women? Again, you’re the one nobody is checking for so this foolish back and forth is a wrap!

          • Nope

            Pew Research Study: The Rise of Intermarriage – Rates, Characteristics Vary by Race and Gender (2012) by Wendy Wang:

            “Broken down by gender, black men were more than twice as likely as black women to marry someone outside their race – 24 percent to 9 percent.”

            **drops mic**

            • jeniece

              That was three years ago. Most of those Black men do not stay married while the black women do.

              • Nope

                You’re entitled to your opinion but not the facts.

                • IvyNoLeague

                  Actually it is facts it’s funny how you men use stats when it’s to your benefit. What’s exactly isn’t fact about it ? Black men are twice as likely to date,and marry out their race, but those relatioship,and marriages are twice as likely to divorce . That’s withen the 8th year mark. You pass your agenda off as facts, but try to dispute hers. LOL black men are so damn delusional it’s sad.

        • IvyNoLeague

          False, men like you(assuming) you’re a man only say that to make it seem men of other races don’t like black women. It’s usually to attack the black woman self esteem. The ones who do feed into what you guys say often walk around with this notion that “other” men don’t like us. Those women with low self esteem usually take on the same mentality many black men like you have. I used to think that way as well until i became open to them, and that’s when men of other races started to approach me. My fiance is white so that dispute that claim…. to an extent. Black men need to stop trying to dictate, and speak about with other men like. That’s a form of verbal abuse, and many of ya’ll prey on BW self esteem. Yes SOME don’t find black women attractive, but it’s not as deep as many of you make it seem.

          Secondly many black women aren’t open to dating other races of men. Unlike black men who are open to all races of women that’s why they are twice as likely to marry, or date out. Black men don’t have this mentality of oh i only have to be with a black woman. That’s what i like about black men ya’ll find ya’ll “happiness” where ever, and aren’t scared to explore. Black women are slowly starting to open their options, and many are dating/marrying men of other races. It’s not about if they like BW, or not it’s more so are black women are open to dating these men.

          • Pivyque

            That is true. When I pictured my life with someone, it was always a black man. Although my brothers have never dated outside of black women, I noticed that their friends just loved women. They didn’t care what kind as long as she was attractive to them. Most black women I know actually want(ed) a black man, so I guess it takes time for some of us to open our minds to another type of man. If I am ever single again, I think I will just stick to being single. lol

            • IvyNoLeague

              Exactly me too, but as i grew older, and wiser i stopped having that i “only want a black man” mentality. Especially after i seen how many black men think of black women. It’s ok to want to only date someone from your race,but black women play theirselves.Even with the black men who only date BW many of them don’t have a mentality of i only have to be with a BW. I love men race doesn’t matter to me. I agree it takes time, and thats what i like BW don’t rush into interracial relationship. I am pretty sure that’s why when we date interracially it tends to last longer.

              “If I am ever single again, I think I will just stick to being single” lol some times that’s the best option.

  • Real Truths

    Often times halfbreeds resent being classified and grouped with their “black half”. But I guarantee you if they were classified as “white” they wouldn’t object. We all know that won’t happen, but stil. “CBP” is the truth. They’re quick to highlight the non-black half, but have no problems taking advantage of the few perks that actually exist for BLACK PEOPLE crowding them out. Black people with their “whorish mentality” are creating even more problems for BLACK PEOPLE DOWN THE ROAD with this crap. If you want to date/mate out, leave your black card by the door. You don’t speak for us, nor represent us no matter how hard you try. Jesus said you can’t serve two masters: you’ll love one and hate the other…..which side do they love? I know where my loyalties lie….100%.

    • IllyPhilly

      Am I wrong for kind of agreeing with this?

      • Real Truths

        What’s wrong with acknowledging the obvious? I know it’s not the kindest thing to say, but it must be said. I’m not really one for euphemisms. It can be construed as cruel, but it’s honest and direct. The same site that has highlighted issues between “light skin” BLACK WOMEN and “dark skin” BLACK WOMEN (who are still black), mixed black women being cast over black women in t.v. and movies, society elevating mixed women over them in terms of status and beauty and etc., and then advocates behavior that is guaranteed to perpetuate those issues black women have to deal with is delusional to say at best. You just happen to be one of those people that look down the road not just what’s in front of your face and real enough to acknowledge its existance.

  • stewie

    Sorry, but if a black man/women who chose to marry outside of your race… you can’t speak in behalf of black people. This is not to say there is nothing wrong with your personal choice but you don’t get to be our Representative.

    Anther thing black people need to stop doing is; claiming biracial kids as blacks ( specially black women need to stop doing this because it is harmful to black girls and if you noticed this mulatto chicks are pretty much has replaced black women in the media). Think about this for a second, what is the message being send to little black girls here; in order to be successful and considered beautiful you need to be biracial or at least light skin, this is a poisonous message.

    BTW; Many of this people are black only when it suites them and they benefit from been black. That is why i call them “conveniently black people”.

    • PleaseDOBetter

      I can respect your opinion and I understand your point about media representation of Black women, but I can’t fully get behind what you’re saying. When we say that we shouldn’t claim certain groups of individuals as one group or the other, I think that crosses into territory that as individuals, we don’t have the right to impose on others. Who am I to tell a multiracial child/adult, who is confident in their identity, about how they should identify? Using Paula as an example, it is clear to her (and the rest of the world, at least those who know about her), that she has a White parent and a Black parent.

      • CKB

        I am not sure if it has changed legally but according to the law, if one parent is Black, the child is considered Black. It is only in recent years that they have added on forms, ” x as many as apply”. Meaning you can click off Black and White. Look at our President. Why is he called a Black President, instead of Biracial.
        Alot of things have to change.
        As for what Paula has said about not taking her future husband to the prom, seeing some of the responses here only justifies her actions as a teen. Life is hard enough at that age.
        The truth of it is this, alot of us White or Black are not 100% pure one or the other. Maybe people aught to focus on who they are and how they treat people rather than pedigree.

    • Pivyque

      Sorry, but if a black man/women who chose to marry outside of your race… you can’t speak in behalf of black people. This is not to say there is nothing wrong with your personal choice but you don’t get to be our Representative.
      I actually have to agree with you on that part. It never occurred to me that I felt that way until my friend tried to talk to me about black families and he was dating a white girl. Lol I asked him how he planned on going out to speak to black communities about uplifting the black family unit when he was dating a white girl. I still haven’t gotten my answer. Lol

  • guest

    She shouldn’t worry about it. A lot of black men talk about the black community and are out and about with non black women.

    • Lee

      What does this article have to do with black men? I don’t care who someone dates or marries as long as it’s for the right reason. If a black man falls in love with a non-black woman, because of who she is as an individual, then what’s it to you? There are some black men who marry black women but don’t care about the black community.

      • Jessica

        There’s no such thing as a black man marrying a non black woman for love. He’s in it for a reason ( get in on her credit, use her car, produce mixed kids etc)

        • stewie

          Your bitterness and hatred for black men says more about you and your miserable life.

          get help

          • PleaseDOBetter


          • Gabie Aldrich

            ITA!! How can someone is this time and age have so much hate in her heart?

        • Pivyque

          LOL OMG! I have never heard anything like this. Omg…lol

    • kierah

      She doesn’t seem worried at all.

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