Candice Brathwaite has spoken up via her Instagram to announce she is no longer presenting a much-needed documentary about the mortality rates of Black women in pregnancy and childbirth following months of ongoing discussion.
Instead, Rochelle Humes will be presenting a similar documentary, causing an outcry on social media and a discussion on colourism.
Sunday Times Bestselling Author and TV Presenter, Candice Brathwaite spoke up on Instagram via IGTV to let her followers know that in the past six months she’d “lost out” to jobs to “lighter-skinned Black women.” Candice Brathwaite spoke up about colourism in her IGTV post and said, “when we talk about colourism, I fall in the spectrum that has it the hardest.”
“The scales are just not tipped in favour of women that look like me and that sucks.”
“when we talk about colourism, I fall in the spectrum that has it the hardest.”
Candice Brathwaite has been an influential advocate, voicing the concerns of Black women in relation to the disproportionate mortality rates in pregnancy and childbirth, and for good reason. Black women are four times more likely than white women to die during childbirth, the highest figure among all ethnic minorities. She brought some of these issues to the fore in her best-selling book, I am Not Your Baby Mother, which we featured last June.
Uncannily, in a blog post to promote her book, Candice said: ““The problem with the erasure of Black motherhood, is that as per usual Black women are the last to get a seat at the table, let alone a slice of the pie. A whole host of Black mothers with influential voices and deep reach are pushed aside with the same opportunities being rolled out to the same faces.”
Candice had been in, “ongoing discussion for the last 9 months of the year” about presenting this particular documentary.
Four days after Candice’s IGTV, TV Presenter Rochelle Humes announced on Instagram that she would be presenting a documentary on the mortality rates of Black women in, “pregnancy, childbirth, and shortly after.”
“The shift in presenters from a dark-skin woman to a light-skin woman triggered a discussion on social media”
The shift in presenters from a dark-skin woman to a light-skin woman triggered a discussion on social media as to why Candice was “replaced” by Rochelle, with people commenting on the implications of colourism and silencing dark-skinned presenters when issues concern them.
Lawyer and women’s rights activist, Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu tweeted, “Colourism is so regressive. TV networks know & manipulate it to cause division. Candice Brathwaite & Rochelle Humes are good presenters. Blame lies with networks who think high mortality rate of dark-skinned Black mothers isn’t served by dark skin Black presenter who campaigned it.”
Some discussion on the matter voiced that Rochelle was given the job because she has more followers, so therefore she can advocate for Black mothers better.
Author and journalist Steph Yeboah responded with, “I’m sorry but the excuse of ‘Rochelle has more followers’ can’t run. Throughout TV history there have been virtual unknowns who have hosted impactful, popular documentaries.”
“Candice is a known TV & Radio personality and Sunday Times Bestselling author. Put some respect on it.”
In Candice’s most recent Instagram post she explained she was not replaced by Rochelle, but that the documentary Rochelle is featuring in was “simply acquired first.”
“At the end of the day, I cannot overstate enough how important it is for this issue to be spoken about until we are able to save more Black women.”
Read more reactions on twitter:
My critique of Rochelle & the doc is not personal but we must acknowledge this pattern.
As black women we try & not to critique publicly but when it comes to issues like this we much talk. If this doc flops we never get another chance to have this convo on such a big stage.
— Tobi Oredein (@IamTobiOredein) February 7, 2021
Furthermore I totally agree that Rochelle may not have been aware that Candice Brathwaite who is a national treasure at this point for all she has withstood, was cast aside for her, but sometimes look at the brief for the show and say “hmm maybe this isn’t for me.”
— machine gun Kele (@kelechnekoff) February 7, 2021
Colourism is so regressive. TV networks know & manipulate it to cause division.Candice Braithwaite & Rochelle Humes are good presenters.Blame lies with networks who think high mortality rate of dark skinned Black mothers isn’t served by dark skin Black presenter who campaigned it pic.twitter.com/VaJy06UlCf
— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) February 7, 2021