Zendaya Feels Being a Young Black Woman in Hollywood Is a ‘Heavy Responsibility’

On Wednesday, June 24, the Euphoria star joined Jennifer Anniston, Reese Witherspoon, and more, around The Hollywood Reporters RoundTable talk and got personal explaining the pressure she feels being a young Black role model.

The ladies joined the RoundTable to discuss the world around us and dismantling systemic racism. During their in-depth conversation, Zendaya opened up about “representing Black women across her industry.”

“I have a heavy responsibility on my shoulders, but I’m appreciative of that because with that there’s a lot of good that I can do and I know who is watching,” she explained. “Now, more than ever, specifically with Black Lives Matter and everything, I feel an obligation to make sure that I’m aware and putting out the right things and in line with organizers and people who are on the ground… I’m just figuring it out as I go, trying to do the best I can.”

Zendaya expressed her fear of making the wrong move in her career. She revealed that Euphoria helped ease the anxiety she often feels when taking on a new role.

“I think, like a lot of artists, I’m my biggest critic, so some of it was internal — not wanting to make a mistake or worrying that maybe I didn’t have the room to make a mistake and want to make the right next move. But I also wanted to prove myself.”

“When Euphoria came along, I was very grateful because all those fears melted away and I felt like it was something that I had to be a part of. So the fear became just, like, push yourself. If you go to work and you’re scared, that’s a good thing. You should be worried about whether you can do it,” she added.

Zendaya explained that much of her fear developed while being a young Black Disney Channel actress. Elaborating on her comment about not having room to make a mistake, she said the pressure was “constant” being on Disney.

“Being a young Disney actor, that’s one level, being a young Black woman is one level, and then being very hard on myself is another level,” she said. “It’s also just a personal fear. I want to do a good job, and sometimes that can cause you to be fearful of things.”

Fans were loving what Zendaya had to say during the roundtable.


As much as Zendaya loves playing “Rue” on Euphoria she wants to make sure her fans understand that she herself felt some topics covered were “triggering” but she does not want to “limit [myself] as an artist.”  At the end of the day, she wants to play whatever role she wants regardless of other’s opinions. She insists on making sure biracial women and men like her will be represented within the entertainment industry.

Zendaya may be young but she has a big voice that she is using for good. We have faith that Zendaya will continue to choose the best roles in her career while continuing to represent the Black community. Watch her on the Drama Actresses Roundtable, below.