Belfast Telegraph

Monday 14 July 2014

Mariah Carey recalls racist attack

Mariah Carey said her own experiences of racism mirrored a scene from The Butler

Mariah Carey has opened up about a racist attack she experienced as a child - when someone spat in her face on the school bus.

The singer and actress was discussing the portrayal of racism in Lee Daniels' The Butler during a press conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Yahoo Movies reported.

Mariah plays the mother of White House Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) in the film, which sees a plantation owner rape her character in front of her son before shooting her husband. But Mariah revealed the scenes in the film that she found most disturbing was the recreation of the 1960 Lunch Counter sit-in in North Carolina when a white woman spits on a black college student for asking to be served at the white-only counter.

The 43-year-old singer recalled: "That actually happened to me. I know people would be in shock and not really want to believe or accept that, but it did. That right there, that was almost the deepest thing to me in the movie because I know what she went through - and it happened to be a bus as well. It was a school bus."

Co-star Oprah Winfrey asked: "Where somebody spit on you?" to which Mariah replied: "Yeah. In the face and in the same way."

Mariah is the daughter of a white Irish American mother and an African American/Venezuelan father and her mother's family disowned her after she married in 1960.

The singer has spoken in the past about the racial prejudice she experienced growing up and in her song Close My Eyes she sings: "I left the worst unsaid; Let it all dissipate; And I try to forget."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Cancer:

Let down your defences with someone who has proven their loyalty. Together, you could create a beautiful home life. Doing repairs and decorating rooms will create a spirit of harmony. You've got great ideas and your partner has lots of practical ability. Negative feedback on a creative project will be discouraging. Don't abandon this job. A few minor changes are all that's necessary to redeem your work. It will be a profound satisfaction to see your critics eat their words.More