Gabrielle Union opens up about “heartbreaking and terrifying” racist encounter from 2019


Gabrielle Union is ready to speak about a “terrifying” racist incident that left her and her group of friends “numb.”

In an interview with People, the 48-year-old actress said the encounter happened in 2019, when she and some friends visited a Game of Thrones filming location in Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

“We wanted to recreate Cersei’s steps from Game of Thrones,” she recalled. When her friends went to grab drinks at what they thought was a gay bar, they instead were accosted by its “Neo-Nazi” patrons.

Union adds that, in addition to being accosted, the bar displayed Jim Crow memorabilia, which left her and her group of friends shaken.  The Bring It On star adds that, even after they left, a group of “menacing” patrons pursued them down the street.

“I’ve never experienced that level of hatred and the threat of physical violence,” she said. “It was such a jolt. And the fear and adrenaline of what happened left us all numb.”

Calling the encounter “heartbreaking and terrifying,” Union admits the incident is just one of many acts of racism she’s had to endure. “To go through every instance is to take you through every day of my life… There are microaggressions and there are all out assaults. That’s what it is to be a person of color in this country,” she said.

Continues Union, “We think we’re post racial but we’re not. And that is beyond disappointing. I don’t think people understand the violence that comes with racism, whether it’s if you’re being chased or you’re having to watch someone wear blackface to collect a paycheck. It’s violent.”

“There are a lot of people who turn a blind eye to racism. But silence is complicity,” Union closed, saying, “real radical impactful change” happens when people stand against racism.


Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.