Earlier this week, we told you that actress Rachel True spoke out about the fact that conventions were attempting to reunite the cast of The Craft, but were not reaching out to her. While the other women, Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney and Neve Campbell, were all booked and busy, True was being left out. As she described the situation, “Sounds about white.”
While her major ire was directed at these conventions, which she didn’t name, she did say that when she originally promoted the film when it premiered in 1996, she would often be an afterthought at press junkets and left out of opportunities her co-stars were able to take advantage of. Therefore, these type of snubs weren’t new, which was exactly why she was so hurt.
“For me, to be honest, the button it pushes for me is when we did the movie, I was already told by production, ‘Take this money offer, take it or leave it. We have another Black girl,'” she said in an Instagram Live video. “And then at the premiere…there was press afterward that I was excluded from. And then there was the MTV Movie Awards that year, that even though I had two movies coming out, the other three girls got to present while I sat in the audience. So I guess it’s less about whining about how I was left out of certain things, but more, it just kind of hit me on a level that as a person of color, during my career, I had to deal with these things and suck them up and just stick them somewhere.”
When Twitter users asked True why her co-stars would agree to go to conventions and take part in things that she had been excluded from, she stuck up for them. And for the record, it was Balk who told her about one particular convention exclusion, causing her to eventually speak out.
“I’m not trying to get in the middle of their coin. I’m not trying to disrupt that,” she said. “I don’t think they should give up the gig because I’m not there. I guess that would be such a great show of solidarity, but I don’t actually want that or expect that. I want them to make their money, right? It is uncomfortable though, to me that people don’t understand why this might be upsetting to me.”
Speaking up for herself, albeit solo and with some push back, definitely made a difference for True. She announced on Wednesday that she would be joining her co-stars at one particular convention, Monster-Mania Con in New Jersey in March. She thanked her fans for their support and positive vibes, but also made sure to ask people to back off of her co-stars, whom she felt were under “attack.”
It could be accurate to say that this may have been True’s “hill” or issue to tackle alone. However, a point she made in her IG Live video was that she wanted to speak to white people who she felt were downplaying her disappointment and reasonable rage with the situation. But in a way, her situation was being downplayed by white people who knew she was being mistreated and could directly impact said situation: her co-stars.
We can all understand that maybe youth, not wanting to ruffle feathers, and the determination to succeed in a cutthroat business could be behind the lack of noise they made about True not getting to have certain opportunities when the film came out. I’m speaking in particular about her not being allowed to present with them at the MTV Movie Awards. But in the present day, at a time when so much conversation is being had about allyship, simply saying, “If Rachel isn’t involved, I don’t want to be either” would have been a major, yet simple gesture. And considering other stars are making major attempts to fight for their co-stars to get equal pay on projects, just speaking up and leveraging their power to get some cheesy fantasy and horror conventions to include True (not 10 other people, just one other VIP witch) doesn’t sound like pulling teeth. True may not have wanted or expected any of that, but really, why wasn’t it anybody’s first thought? It’s kind of level one human decency: If we do something together, we should reap the benefits together.
It’s true, at the end of the day, that this situation is not the fault of True’s co-stars. The conventions (not Monster-Mania Con by the way), through a microaggression that one might argue was macro, were the ones who excluded her and didn’t try to right their wrongs. But there is something to be said for people who go about business as usual when they see something unfair occurring to someone else. The e-mail from Balk was a great first step, and kudos to her. But the overall silence of the ladies definitely says a lot.
Check out the comments from True’s fans about her co-stars that left her coming to their defense below: