Gabrielle Union is opening up about the time she accidentally stepped into an incredibly dangerous situation while on a getaway with friends.
In her new memoir, You Got Anything Stronger?, the 48-year-old actress recounted the incident that unfolded while she and her friends were on a trip to Croatia in 2019. Although they were in the country for work, the group wanted to get in some fun tourist time on the side.
While speaking to People, the Bring it On alum explained she and her pals “wanted to recreate Cersei’s steps from Game of Thrones,” in Dubrovnik, Croatia, but along the way stumbled into a scene that made Gabby fear for her safety.
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The star said her small group entered what they thought was a gay bar in order to get some drinks. Only, they quickly realized they were surrounded by Jim Crow memorabilia and “Neo-Nazi” patrons who immediately intimidated Union and her friends.
Noting that a menacing group followed them down the street when they left, the Nebraska native recalled:
“I’ve never experienced that level of hatred and the threat of physical violence. It was such a jolt. And the fear and adrenaline of what happened left us all numb.”
But unfortunately for Union, this kind of “heartbreaking and terrifying” situation isn’t uncommon. She explained to the outlet:
“To go through every instance is to take you through every day of my life. There are microaggressions and there are all out assaults. That’s what it is to be a person of color in this country… We think we’re post racial but we’re not. And that is beyond disappointing. I don’t think people understand the violence that comes with racism, whether it’s if you’re being chased or you’re having to watch someone wear blackface to collect a paycheck. It’s violent.”
And while the general public has started to become more aware of these heinous realities, Union said there’s still much progress to be made — particularly in Hollywood, where only last year many popular TV shows removed episodes that featured the use of blackface.
“Who finds blackface funny? What about the harm that it causes and the racism that it’s rooted in is funny? You are laughing at me, at my features and at stereotypes of people who look like me. Why is that ok?”
In her memoir, Union said she’s lost count of the times she’s been one of the only Black people on a set, and admitted she’s had to deal with pay inequality, sharing:
“We’re still talking about the first Black this, the first Latina this and the first Asian this. That’s not progress. Why are we still having firsts? It should be something that shames us all… They roll out the list of the top ten highest paid actors and you see a couple of people on there. But show me the top 100 paid actors. What does that look like? There are a lot of people who turn a blind eye to racism. But silence is complicity. When you see something, whether it’s sexist or homophobic or transphobic, say something. This should be a call to arms to have real radical impactful change.”
Amen to that!
Gabby’s new book of personal essays is on shelves now. Will U be picking up a copy?
[Image via MEGA/WENN]