But if they marry or become engaged outside of the race?
Well, depending on their careers’ trajectory, the relationships are rarely mentioned–how often do I see the articles about famous White male entertainers in interracial relationships with, for example, Black women on sites geared mostly toward Black women but nothing similar in mainstream celebrity media outlets (and this is the point where you can bring Brad Pitt back in because he was involved with Robin Givens while she was divorcing Mike Tyson in 1988 before his own career took off)–or they’ve had to fend off stereotypes about their partner, like Ben Affleck had to do with then-fiancee Jennifer Lopez; or they’ve been harassed, as in the case of ’s Chris Noth and his new wife.
Even though stans may freak out about their pairings, think of contemporary couples that were and/or are “on-script”, whether the pair is together or not: Ryan Reynolds and his two wives, Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively; Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel; Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman (or, more suspiciously, as far as public opinion was concerned, Katie Holmes); Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston (hold on to Pitt for a minute).
One reward of this is getting into mainstream celebrity publications, which have a most White and female readership.
That’s real–and the narrative rests on the belief that it’s an assumption about the performers.
What does it look like for actors of color who “step out” their race to date, mate, and marry?
For some Black women in particular at a certain pinnacle of fame, they make it a point to reassure their Black fan base that they’re still down with The Community.
Actor Halle Berry said as such in a 2011 Ebony interview: Well, first thing I want to say is that I’m very connected to my community, and I want Black people to know that I haven’t abandoned them because I’ve had a child with a man outside of my race and I’m dating someone now outside my race who is Spanish and French.
I have never been more clear about who I am as a Black woman[…] And who I really am is a Black woman who is struggling to make my race proud of me, who is struggling to move Black women forward in the profession I’ve chosen, and those relationships have actually helped me identify more clearly[….]The truth that it’s taken me a long time to learn how to love myself, and color isn’t really a part of what I look at when I’m deciding who I want to spend time with.