Little Mix singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock spoke out about her experience with racism in the music industry in a powerful new video.
Pinnock rose to fame on the 2011 season of the British version of The X Factor where she was grouped with three other contestants to form the band. They went on to win the show and have had international success with hits such as "Shout Out to My Ex" and "Break Up Song."
"You learn to see that you can’t be seen as too loud or too opinionated otherwise you’re deemed as a diva or aggressive. You learn that walking into a room you are deemed as unapproachable or offish before anyone has approached you," she said. "You learn that by voicing your opinion about the lack of diversity in the industry is like slapping your heard against a brick wall."
The 28-year-old British singer said both of her parents are mixed race and that she never viewed this as a limitation until she joined Little Mix.
"My reality is feeling lonely when performing to predominantly white countries. I sing to fans who don’t see me or hear me or cheer me on. My reality is feeling anxious before fan events or signings because I always feel like the least favored," she said. "My reality is constantly feeling like I have to work 10 times harder and longer to mark my place in the group because my talent alone isn’t enough."
The video comes as Jade Thirwall, another member of Little Mix who is mixed race, called out MSN for using a photo of Leigh-Anne in a story about Jade.
"If you’re going to copy and paste articles from other accurate media outlets, you might want to make sure you’re using an image of the correct mixed race member of the group," she wrote in an Instagram story. "This s**t happens to @leighannepinnock and I ALL THE TIME that it's become a running joke. ... I've even had 'Oh sorry, you look similar.' Really?! I'm done with us just having to laugh it off now."
"It's lazy journalism. It's ignorant. It's rude," she added. "It offends me that you couldn't differentiate the two women of colour out of four members of a group. ... DO BETTER."