The Internet Keeps Confusing These Black Actresses For One Another

Kelly McCreary and Jerrika Hinton, two Grey’s Anatomy actresses, are constantly being confused for the other—and McCreary is tired of it. The star explains in an Instagram post that when she couldn’t find any photos of her red carpet look at the Entertainment Weekly pre-Emmys party in an online archive, she knew exactly why.

“With a sinking feeling, I searched for the name of my castmate, Jerrika Hinton, who did not even attend the event… and there I was! How did I know I would find [myself] there? Well, because this isn’t the first time this has happened,” she writes.

Apparently, Getty Images—a website dedicated to publishing thousands of photos daily—frequently and carelessly confuses the pair. And while McCreary acknowledges that the incidents may be purely accidental, she also explains why it is extremely problematic. “I wonder, does this happen when there are two blonde women in the same cast? When there are two dark-haired white dudes with blue eyes? Maybe it does. But I’ll tell you what—to constantly wonder whether I’m facing a micro-aggression I should call someone out on, or a harmless mistake I should let slide, is a real energy drain.”

 

LONG READ. I had the best time at the EW party Friday night, getting hyped for the Emmy’s, our upcoming Grey’s season premiere this Thursday, and celebrating artists who have created visionary, groundbreaking television for us to enjoy this fall. Saturday morning, I searched the internet for my carpet photos so I could post them here and give credit to my glam team who straight KILLT it, but I could find none. Finally, with a sinking feeling, I searched for the name of my castmate, Jerrika Hinton, who did not even attend the event. Lo and behold, there I was!! How did I know I would find them there? Well, because this isn’t the first time this has happened. Now Jerrika is a beautiful lady, inside and out, with talent for days. I would be flattered to be mistaken for her, if it didn’t seem like the all-too-frequent occurrence of this “mistake” indicated the careless conflation of two black actresses with curly hair on the same tv show. I wonder, does this happen when there are two blonde women in the same cast? When there are two dark-haired white dudes with blue eyes? Maybe it does. But I’ll tell you what— to constantly wonder whether I’m facing a micro-aggression I should call someone out on, or a harmless mistake I should let slide, is a real energy drain. The noise of the internal debate with myself is, as Maggie Pierce said last season, “like a low buzz.” Such is life for people in marginalized groups— including those of us with many privileges— noisy and draining. This morning, I discovered that Getty Images and some other outlets have corrected the error, and I am appreciative. So I’ll just take this as an opportunity to do a quick PSA—Check your unconscious biases today. We all have them. Managing them takes discipline, vigilance, and self-awareness, and you can practice it anytime. Why not do it today? And in the words of my castmate, I simply ask the folks who are in the business of identifying distinct and unique human beings to Do Better. That is all. Thanks.

A photo posted by Kelly McCreary (@seekellymccreary) on

According to Refinery29, the two actresses aren’t the only victims of what McCreary calls “unconscious biases.” And Getty Images isn’t the only offender. Also related to Sunday’s Emmy awards is a scandal involving The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, who tweeted a photo of Terrence Howard and tagged him as Cuba Gooding Jr.

Both organizations were quick to correct the errors, but neither apologized.

Like McCreary, we are disheartened and we couldn’t agree more when she says, “I simply ask the folks who are in the business of identifying distinct and unique human beings to Do Better.” This is unacceptable.