We told you last week that comedian and Insecure actress Amanda Seales found herself unceremoniously escorted out of a Black Emmys after-party. At the time that the unfortunate situation happened, Amanda placed blamed on “a white woman named Kiara.” While speaking on her podcast Small Doses this week though, she changed her tune and said it was Black woman instead who denied her entrance to the very Black event. This same woman just so happens to be the publicist for Insecure creator and actress Issa Rae.
In the episode, “Side Effects of Professionalism Part 1,” Amanda said she wanted to address the situation, which went viral, in order to “process the damage.” In doing so, she outed Issa’s publicist, Vanessa Anderson, as the woman who caused her so much drama two weeks ago.
Vanessa is the woman who started the Black Emmy party to celebrate Black Hollywood, and according to Amanda, “We are not friends.”
“She has never been nice to me ever,” she said. “She’s always had a curtness, and she’s always seemed to be bothered simply by my demeanor, my way of communicating with her, etc. At a certain point it became, ‘Well this is not someone I need to speak to because I don’t work for her, she doesn’t work for me. There’s no reason for us to interact for all intents and purposes. So we don’t.”
However, they have to interact in one way or another for Amanda to gain access to the party. She recounted that at last year’s Black Emmy party, which she came with Jill Scott to, she also had a hard time getting in. When she tried to get Vanessa’s attention to fix the situation, she claims that the woman went off on her.
“Amanda nobody has time for this right now,” she claimed Vanessa yelled out. “I do not have time for this!”
Amanda said she was confused, as were a number of other people, by Vanessa’s response. Nevertheless, she was able to get into the party with the help of someone else. After the uncomfortable incident, she addressed Issa about Vanessa’s issue with her, saying, “She’s not nice, she’s just nasty.” She told Issa that there needed to be a layer of civility between them at least, but Issa didn’t feel it was her place to get involved.
“Issa said, ‘Yeah, I mean that’s between y’all,'” she recounted. “‘This is her party, so it’s not my jurisdiction to tell her how to treat you at her party.'”
She left it at that last year.
Jesse Williams invited her this year, and at the HBO after-party she was telling all the Black folks she could find about Vanessa’s party, thinking she would gain access again. As we now know, things didn’t go as hoped. When she reached the door, the young woman Kiara said she couldn’t come in and that she wasn’t on the list.
“I saw Vanessa come outside and have a conversation with her, but I didn’t think anything of it,” she said. “It was interesting that this was happening because it seemed like an echo of the year before.”
Janet Jackson’s manager even tried to get Amanda in, but they still said she wasn’t on the list and it was a no. That’s when she first started to air her grievances on her Instagram Stories.
Actor Elijah Kelley ended up helping her find her way in, which the woman, Kiara, was not okay with.
Amanda waved off the woman and tried to head toward the table for Insecure cast members, but before she knew it, security came up to her and told her that she needed to be escorted out and that it was Vanessa who said she needed to leave. She wouldn’t leave until she spoke with Vanessa, but was told to leave or cops were going to be called by the Black male general manager of Avenue, the venue where the event was held. Aside from being dumbfounded about the situation, Amanda said she was also upset that no one tried to step in to help.
“I’m also seeing people seeing this happen and they’re doing nothing,” she said. “If I saw this happening to someone else, I would have been all up in that sh-t.”
“For the record, nobody made a ruckus for me,” she added.
She noted that the event was supposed to be a safe space for Black people, so for it to not be that for her, and the fact that no one intervened to help her, caused her to have an emotional reaction.
“It was wildly humiliating.”
Still, people on IG told her that she was being childish and that she shouldn’t have been shocked that Vanessa didn’t want her at her party if the two didn’t get along. She didn’t agree.
“This party was not at her house. This was not a personal event. This was not a birthday party…It was not a naming ceremony. This was a Hollywood party for Black entertainers and contributors to Hollywood,” she said. “So by nature of that, I am a part of that industry and should be here celebrating with my community.”
She also noted that Vanessa wasn’t the only person working on the event, reminding people that Jesse Williams was the initial person who invited her. She also debunked rumors that she wrestled herself through the door, got into an argument with someone, and at any point pissed on a floor, which she’d read on a blog.
“It’s very frustrating to be somebody who’s just trying to do good work and have to deal with this type of unprofessionalism,” she said. “To have to deal with this type of informality and to deal with this literal type of petty a– f–kery, and Hollywood is so rife with this.”
And as for those who would say she was petty or unprofessional for publicly naming Vanessa, she disagreed, saying her actions warranted exposure.
“F–k that. Some behavior does not deserve the luxury of anonymity,” she said. “And this was an instance where no no no, I’m not going to have this story told by other people without telling my story.”