Loretta Devine Tells ‘Uncensored’ She Learned to ‘Adapt’ to Racism in America

Loretta Devine on Uncensored (Credit: TV One)

Loretta Devine is getting candid about her path to success in entertainment and the obstacles she has faced in her career.

The acclaimed actress sat down for an wide-ranging interview with TV One’s autobiographical series Uncensored. In preview clips for the episode — which airs this weekend — Devine says she’s learned to “adapt” to racism in America.

“What happens is, you sort of become accustomed to what you live and what you live in, and if there’s racism, you adapt to it,” she explains in one clip.

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Devine got her big break in the original Broadway production of Tony-winning musical “Dreamgirls.” Over her four-decade career, she’s had roles in the films Waiting to Exhale, The Preacher’s Wife, This Christmas, and Woman Thou Art Loosed, just to name a few.

The Houston native tells Uncensored she’s been able to build a career by working on projects from Black creatives. “Most of the movies I’ve done all my life are Black movies,” she says.

Her television credits include Family Reunion, Grey’s Anatomy, The Carmichael Show, and Boston Public. Devine won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2011, for playing Adele Webber on ABC’s Grey’s. She has also taken home ten NAACP Image Awards over the years.

As for the Oscars, Devine tells Uncensored the Academy Awards have an inclusion problem.

“When it comes to the Oscars, you grow up on the Oscars, because the NAACP awards weren’t even on TV until much later. But the stuff you grow up with is the stuff that sort of seems so important,” she says. “I noticed that with the Oscars, it would always be if they were going to celebrate someone Black, they would always bring everybody Black in and give all of them awards. Then you wouldn’t hear anything else from them, with anybody [Black] winning anything for ten years.”

Devine then referenced the 2002 Oscars when Halle Berry won the best actress honor for Monster’s Ball. That same year, Denzel Washington won the best actor award for Training Day, and Sidney Poitier received an Honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement.

“The year that Halle Berry, and Denzel, and Sidney Poitier [won], they brought everybody in. Then you didn’t hear from anybody [Black] for ten years,” she says while laughing. “They make it feel like to get an EGOT is the hot thing. I have ten NAACP Awards, and I have worked very hard for those awards, and I would encourage young people to get them some NAACP awards.”

Loretta Devine’s full interview airs on the season 4 premiere on Uncensored, Sunday, Aug. 29 at 10PM/9C on TV One.

Watch the videos below of the actress talking about representation at the Oscars and adapting to racism.