Some of the critiques people offered when they thought Haddish wasn’t listening were actually helpful: It turned out that her script readings needed work, for example, so she started practicing reading out loud more often before the auditions.

Other comments captured on tape weren’t at all constructive, but they did confirm the reality of the prejudices faced by black women in Hollywood. At the roundtable, Haddish shared a few memorable bits of feedback she collected: “‘She is not as urban as I thought she’d be.’ Or, ‘She is so ghetto.’ ‘Her boobs aren’t big enough.’ ‘I really think we should just go with a white girl.'”

Research shows that most people crave feedback about their work. But few actually get it, and when we do, we often become upset or defensive. Haddish admits that she wasn’t impervious to other people’s dismissals of her auditions. “Sure, they hurt my feelings,” she says. But for her, the value of getting candid comments about her performance outweighed the emotional cost—not to mention the potential penalties of breaking the “two-party consent” rule on recording conversations in California.

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