A few years back, New York Film Academy Instructor Cheryl Bedford was asked to be a part of the documentary Dark Girls, directed and produced by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry. Even with deferred pay, Cheryl immediately jumped on board as Line Producer and her decision couldn’t have been more right. The bracing new documentary was recently nominated for an NAACP Image Award. “The material spoke to me,” said Bedford. “Dark Girls is about ‘colorism’ and how it affects women. Basically, the darker you are, the less attractive you are perceived to be.”
Skin bleaching products are a billion dollar business worldwide. Dark skinned women in Africa are using these products and doing horrible damage to their skin. In China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, etc., you can’t buy a moisturizer without a skin bleaching component in the product. “As a dark skin black woman, who has been called pretty — ‘even though I was dark skinned’ — I felt that the project had to be part of my filmmaking legacy,” added Bedford.
When Dark Girls premiered on OWN in June 2013, the film was the number one trending topic on twitter for three hours worldwide. “I am so proud of this project and the entire Dark Girls team. As a filmmaker, when you have a passion project, you hope and dream of this kind of success. I feel quite lucky and blessed that people feel connected to this movie.”