Ryan Destiny Writes Letter to Fellow Young Black Women in Hollywood

Ryan Destiny earned a lot of kudos recently on social media from fans and contemporaries alike for being candid about experiences in her career so far, as well as giving advice. The actress posted an open letter last week that gained a lot of traction.

Ryan Destiny in 2019
Ryan Destiny in 2019 | Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

Ryan Destiny is a rising star in Hollywood

Destiny first came to mainstream prominence as one of the three leads on the Fox drama series, Star. The series, which was a pseudo-spinoff of Empire, ran for three seasons on the network before it had its run ended. She headlined the series with Jude Demorest and Brittany O’Grady.

The series also starred Amiyah Scott, Quincy Brown, Benjamin Bratt, Queen Latifah, Miss Lawrence, Luke James, Michael Michele, Stephen Dorff, Lance Gross, Brandy Norwood, William Levy, and Matthew Noszka.

Aside from Star, Destiny also had a major recurring role in AMC’s Low Winter Sun. She recently recurred on the third season of Freeform’s grown-ish and play the lead in Flint Strong, the biopic on boxer Claressa Shields from Barry Jenkins and Rachel Morrison.

Last week, Destiny posted a letter on social media as several Black actresses open up about their experiences. Vanessa Morgan opened up about being the least-paid series regular on Riverdale and Samantha Marie Ware called out Lea Michele for her behavior on the set of Glee.

The actress posted an open letter on social media

Destiny stated on Twitter that she was inspired by former Glee star Amber Riley, as well as Ware, to make statements of her own.

“This message is to my fellow Black sisters in particular… This goes for any career or work space but I’m speaking from my own experience,” wrote Destiny in part. “If you are just now entering Hollywood in any form or plan to… and at some point experience discrimination, appropriation, racism, colorist, microaggressions even if sometimes sadly by your own people… speak up for yourself. I didn’t do that. Not nearly as much as I should have. Educate yourself even more. I didn’t do that. The times I wanted to perfectly articulate exactly how I felt but didn’t know how, frustrated me. Do not continue to ‘brush it off’ to keep a ‘job’ or to not piss off ‘powerful people. You. Hold. Your. Own. D**m. Power. KNOW. YOUR. WORTH. You do not NEED anyone who contributes to the ongoing passive, tolerated behavior of this white favored industry.”

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She continued, “It’s easier to stay silent because we’ve all seen what happens when Black people hold people accountable. We’re the “problem.” We lose deals. We lose industry relationships. We lose roles. We lose opportunities. We lose support. All because companies and people don’t want to be held accountable. I refuse to be compliant….I will stand up for me and the ones that need it in these rooms and spaces…Social media support is not going to cut it. KEEP THIS SAME ENERGY IN REAL LIFE. That is the only way true change will happen.”

Her former co-stars co-sign her statments

Destiny’s former Star co-leads, Demorest and O’Grady, commented on her Instagram post and gave her support.

Demorst said, “Ryan, this is so honest and so brave. even though you said here you wish you’d done more- i want you to know that the times you spoke up, corrected and stood your ground, right before my eyes, will stick with me forever. i’m better for them. seeing and hearing your experience has challenged me to be better. and I’m sure so many others feel that way. your voice here is powerful, like your voice in real life has been. i can’t wait to watch you get every last flower you deserve,” wrote Demorest.

“This brings tears to my eyes Ryan. I am so grateful for this statement and your strength. I am so excited how you are going to impact our industry by speaking your truth with integrity. Thank you for speaking your truth. It is worthy. It’s the journey and it’s just the beginning,” wrote O’Grady.