Kerry Washington says she was fired several times from TV for not sounding 'hood'

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Before landing ABC's hit drama Scandal,Kerry Washington says she was let go from several television projects for not fulfilling Hollywood stereotypes of black women.

"Before Scandal, I was actually cast in two other pilots. Both went to series, but I was fired and recast," the 39-year-old actress recently revealed during Variety's Actors on Actors series, where she was joined by Master of None's Aziz Ansari.

RELATED: Pregnant Kerry Washington Taking 'Teeny Break' From Social Media

"For both, it was because they wanted me to sound more 'girlfriend,' more like 'hood,' more 'urban,'" she explained.

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Kerry Washington says she was fired several times from TV for not sounding 'hood'
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 21: Actress Kerry Washington arrives at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 21, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Actress Kerry Washington arrives at the #TGIT Premiere Event hosted by Twitter at Palihouse Holloway on September 20, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 21: Actress Kerry Washington attends the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 21, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 22: Actress Kerry Washington is seen outside 'Good Morning America' on on September 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 21: (L-R) Producer Shonda Rhimes and actress Kerry Washington arrive at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 21: Actress Kerry Washington accepts the Vanguard Award onstage during the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 21, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for GLAAD)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 21: Actress Kerry Washington speaks onstage during the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 21, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for GLAAD)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 21: (L-R) Actress Portia de Rossi, tv personality Ellen DeGeneres, actress Kerry Washington and writer-producer Shonda Rhimes attend the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 21, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for GLAAD)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 21: Actress Kerry Washington attends the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 21, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for GLAAD)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 21: Actress Kerry Washington attends the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 21, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for GLAAD)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Actress Kerry Washington is seen during 'Good Morning America' taping at the ABC Times Square Studios on September 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Kerry Washington is seen in Midtown on September 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Actress Kerry Washington seen on the streets of Manhattan on September 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/GC Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0130 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Kerry Washington during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on September 23, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Actress Kerry Washington is seen arriving at 'Good Morning America''on September 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 22: Actress Kerry Washington is seen outside 'Good Morning America' on on September 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 22: Lyn Paolo and Kerry Washington at The Limited Collection Inspired by Scandal Launch Event at IAC Building on September 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Nomi Ellenson/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 22: Actress Kerry Washington (L) and CEO at The Limited Diane Ellis attend The Limited Scandal Collection Launch Event at IAC Building on September 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The Limited Scandal Collection)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Actress Kerry Washington attends the #TGIT premiere event hosted by Twitter at Palihouse Holloway on September 20, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Ellen DeGeneres and Kerry Washington attend the #TGIT premiere event hosted by Twitter at Palihouse Holloway on September 20, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
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But Washington isn't alone. She recounted past conversations she's had with friends who recalled similar experiences they faced when overcoming Hollywood stereotypes.

"I've had friends of mine say they're tired of 'gayface' and I was like, 'What's gayface?' They were like, 'It's the gay version of blackface. Like, come in and be more effeminate,'" she recalled pals telling her.

RELATED: Kerry Washington Shows Off Baby Bump and Purple Hair at Met Gala

Ansari chimed in with his own stories of casting stereotypes, saying he's found out after the fact that he booked certain roles because they were looking for a specific look. The actor and comedian even addressed the issue in an episode of Master of None.

"A lot of other minority actors have told me, 'Oh, this so rings a bell,' when you go into an audition room and you see a bunch of people that look like you and you just start feeling like, 'Oh, I'm not here [for me]. I'm here because I fit what looks like the person they want in here,'" the former Parks and Recreation star said.


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