Shalita Grant claimed she was handled “totally different” than her NCIS: New Orleans costars earlier than her 2018 exit — particularly when it got here to her hair.
“It was about a year and a half in the making,” the 33-year-old actress stated on the Monday, October 18, episode of the Tamron Hall Show as to why she walked away from the hit drama earlier than its March cancelation. “I had started documenting some of the physical damage that was going on — it’s harder to document the emotional damage.”
Grant, who joined the CBS collection partway by season 1 in 2015 as Sonja Percy, alleged that the wigs on set and her total haircare from the present’s stylists broken her pure mane and wasn’t taken significantly.
“Anybody who was a fan of the show, you knew Percy’s ponytail looked different every week — sometimes within the episode. What you didn’t know was what was going on with me, with my natural hair,” she defined on Monday, noting she started documenting how her wigs affected her locks in January 2017. “In six months time, I had already had a bald spot in my head from season 2.”
She claimed that by season 4 she was “threatening baldness” within the entrance of her hair. Grant recalled being ridiculed by followers saying, “That looks like a helmet” due to her new styling, however she didn’t care.
“I was protecting myself,” she stated of her selection to alter up her look on the present and save her roots.
The You actress defined that the hair points on set have been a part of a deeper downside when she was on the crime drama. She recalled being cast in a unfavorable mild due to her hair, which her white costars allegedly by no means handled.
“When you get a show and it’s a multimillion-dollar show, and you see that your treatment in the hair department is totally different from what’s going on with your co-workers on a granular level you’re like, ‘OK that sucks, like, I have to pay for my own wigs. I have to come with my hair done,’” she stated, including that it turned an even bigger downside when she was “blamed” for manufacturing delays or setbacks.
Grant remembered one shoot the place it was raining and her “white coworkers were also like, ‘We can’t walk across the street in the rain, we’ll have to get blow dried.’” However, the story was later spun to “Shalita couldn’t walk across the street in the rain,” which the actress claimed led to her being labeled as “difficult.”
The Maryland native, who later launched a pure hair care line referred to as Four Naturals, added that she finally exited the collection as a result of she “wasn’t being worked with. I had to save myself.”
The Search Party alum beforehand spoke about her alleged mistreatment by the present’s hair division to Vulture in July 2020.
“For Black women, the way our hair is policed is that we’re told it’s unprofessional in its natural state. From the time that you’re in school, you are getting this lesson. It’s shored up with punishment,” Grant stated on the time. “With NCIS, it wasn’t just that the people didn’t know how to do my hair. The cosmetology board teaches that hair is hair, which essentially erases Black and Asian hair, because there are differences. … What was specific to them was a couple of producers who were committed to [my character] Sonja Percy not having a natural curl pattern.”
She claimed that the NCIS workforce thought “a love interest doesn’t look like that. A love interest has straight hair. It’s all built around those assumptions, and I suffered because of that.”
Us Weekly has reached out to CBS for remark.