Bananas And Watermelons: Celebs Share Their Most Side-Eye Worthy Experiences With Racism

April 22, 2015  |  
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Chrissy Teigen called a “chink”? President Obama mistaken for the help? These celebrities say their experiences with racism were so shocking all they could do was give the side-eye.

Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen recently revealed her West Hollywood encounter with a confused racist on Twitter:

Dave Chappelle

It’s still hard to believe that a heckler threw a banana peel at Dave Chappelle, but the comedian didn’t let it get him down: “I am not going to let White people ruin bananas for me…they’re a good source of potassium.”

George Lopez

George Lopez said he didn’t know you could be a victim of racism while wearing a $3,000 suit — until he stayed at Dream Hotel in NYC:

I got a Dolce & Gabbana suit and $3,000 shoes, but the struggle will still continue. Today at the Dream Hotel in room 440, George Lopez had a Prada suit and sport coat, $10,000, delivered to me personally… I open the door, he gave me the suit and said, “You scared me. I thought you were housekeeping.”

Lil’ Wayne

Speaking of people making you hate fruit, we’re sure Lil’ Wayne had more than one side-eye to give for those viral pictures of him eating watermelon in a club.

Michelle Obama

The First Lady told People a very interesting story about a trip she made to Target in 2011.

Mrs. Obama said that no one acknowledged her at all, except for one woman who mistook her for an employee and asked her to get something off of a shelf…


Reggae star Mavado found out that the Denny’s days of restaurant racism are far from over when his family was discriminated against at NYC’s Philippe Chow restaurant.

But Mavado said that he was even more surprised by how they acted when they found out he was famous and “begged” for forgiveness.

The restaurant apologized to Movado for his experience but said that they couldn’t be racist: They have a lot of black friends customers.

“Philippe Restaurant is proud to have an excellent relationship with all our customers, especially the black community and people of color. On a weekly basis we have famous and non-famous black people …Don’t just listen to us, visit our Instagram and see for yourself.”

Michelle Obama, Again

Most of the country gave Univision host Rodner Figueroa the side-eye when he said that Michelle Obama looked like someone from the cast of Planet of the Apes. Figueroa was fired shortly afterward.

Victoria Rowell

Victoria Rowell said we’d all give The Young and The Restless the side-eye if we knew how racist executives were behind the scenes — or if we knew she was fired after 20 years for fighting for equality for African-Americans behind the scenes.

Daniele Watts

Being typecast as prostitutes or drug addicts is a struggle that minority actresses know all too well.

But Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts said that stereotype followed her off-set. A police officer mistook her for a prostitute after spotting her having sex with her white husband in a car out in front of a commercial building.

FKA Twigs

We thought serious interracial relationship shade was a thing of the past. But singer FKA Twigs faced so many racist comments after she started dating Twilight star Robert Pattinson that she had to defend herself on Twitter so her fans wouldn’t see her being bullied.

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Former Love & Hip Hop star Benzino said that AirTran Airways surprised him with a little throwback racism when they asked to check his ticket to make sure that he belonged in his first class seat.

What hit the tabloids was Benzino’s f-bomb laced outburst after the incident. But AirTran knew they were in the wrong, so they gave him and his fiancée, Althea Hart, $200 vouchers for their unsettling experience.

Kamau Bell

Kamau Bell said he never expected “textbook racism” from his favorite Berkley coffee shop.

But then an employee told him to “shoo” away from his white wife and her friends because she assumed he was a panhandler…

Barack Obama

Michelle Obama also told People about one event where her husband, the president of the united states, was mistaken for a waiter: “He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.”

And the POTUS actually sent out an important reminder on racism to People‘s readers:

“The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced. It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala.

It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.”

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