'Loosely Exactly Nicole' Star Nicole Byer On Early Auditions: I Was Asked To 'be As Black As Possible'

THE BADDEST. (Photo: Willy Sanjuan, Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Nicole Byer is not >Ladylike.

And it's precisely her brazen, ribald brand of comedy that landed her in the creative incubator that is MTV, where she toplines two new comedy shows.

But Byer, who heads up the forthcoming Loosely Exactly Nicole (Sept. 5), a semi-autobiographical series based on Byer's quest to find her voice and enough money for rent, wasn't always given the space to be herself.
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She's been frank about casting directors' attempts to typecast her in roles that felt more like caricatures.

"I've spoken about this before," she told us Tuesday on the heels of her TCA blitz, "but I had one audition where the casting director said, 'I need you to be as black as possible and if you're too black, I'll bring you back.' And I was like, what the (expletive) does that mean? You’ll bring me back?'"

"I had another experience — and we talk about it in the show — where I audition for a character named Big Butt Bertha," she continues. "That is a spot-on parody of the name of a character that I had to go out and audition for... and the way they wrote this black woman was like, 'Where the (expletive) is my money at?' And it's like, I can't. And that's not to discredit (other black women). There are black women who sound like that, but I'm not one of them."

MTV allowed the comedian to be herself unapologetically, filling "a seat that hasn't been filled since Mo'Nique."

While Byer may be one of the first "fat, black female lead of a comedy show" that we've seen in a while, it was Loosely Exactly Nicole's white executive producers who flanked her at a panel Sunday at TCA who spurred pointed questions on inclusivity. But as Byer told us, the crucial task for MTV — and any media company — taking on shows with inclusive casts is to listen and not dismiss people with actual lived experience.

"On my show, everyone listens," Byer says, "and I think as long as you're having colorful writers' rooms (and) everyone’s listening, that's the key."

Networks, take note.

(Warning: The following clip is NSFW.)

Loosely Exactly Nicole premieres Sept. 5 at 10:30 p.m. ET. 

Source : http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2016/08/03/nicole-byer-mtv-loosely-exactly-nicole-diversity-inclusivity/87997116/

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