Colman Domingo Rejected From “Boardwalk Empire” Because He Was Too Dark


Colman Domingo has revealed he didn’t get a role in “Boardwalk Empire” because of his skin color.

The “Euphoria” actor revealed to The New York Times that he auditioned for the role of a maître d’ at a Black-owned nightclub in the Prohibition-era drama in 2014, the final year of its run. Domingo received a callback following his audition, in which he sang and tap danced in a tuxedo, and he thought the role would be his big break.

According to the article, “There was just one problem, his agent said. After the callback, a historical researcher on the show reminded producers that the maître d’s in those nightclubs were typically light-skinned, and Domingo was not. ‘Boardwalk Empire’ had passed.”

Domingo received the news while he was in the gym, and he later declared to his husband at home that he was ready to quit acting.

“That’s when I lost my mind,” he recalled. “I can’t take it anymore, I think this is going to kill me.”
However, the 54-year-old eventually decided to keep pursuing his career, and his determination has paid off in the last few years.

In 2022, he won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his performance as Ali in “Euphoria,” and he is currently nominated for a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award for his portrayal of civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in the movie “Rustin.”

He also stars in the new movie musical adaptation of “The Color Purple” alongside Taraji P. Henson, Fantasia Barrino and Danielle Brooks.