Gabourey Sidibe: 'Police in America don't make me feel safe'

27th Jun 17 | Entertainment News

Gabourey Sidibe is afraid of the police in America and has never felt protected by them.

48th NAACP Image Awards

The Precious actress has stepped behind the camera to direct short film The Tale of Four, a 20-minute project which addresses issues such as race-based violence, fatal encounters with law enforcement and domestic abuse.

Noting that the U.S. is great "as long as you're white", Gabourey admits she's yet to feel safe in her home country as a black woman, and highlights the struggles people of colour face in her new project.

"I don't want to argue with anyone, or with 'Make America Great Again.' I just want you to show me the facts," she shrugged to Refinery29. "Because I've always been afraid of the police. I've never had the chance to see police as helpers. It's not my fault. It's where I was raised. I'm from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. I've always felt like an oil stain that they needed to clean up and not a citizen that they felt obligated to protect."

There have been a number of high-profile cases over the past few years that have drawn attention to the treatment of black people in America, notably the death of teenager Trayvon Martin, whose killer - neighbourhood watchman George Zimmerman - was acquitted. This incident led to the launch of Black Lives Matter in 2012, but Gabourey, 34, is upset by how little coverage there is of female victims.

"When we were shooting, there was the woman who was shot in front of her five-year-old, fatally; and her five-year-old was shot, too," she sighed. "Just a few days ago, there was a woman who was killed, who was pregnant, in front of her four children. I don't know if it's equal or unequal to the black men we're losing. But certainly I have the same amount of outrage."

The Tale of Four, which follows the lives of four women who live in the same building, screened at Nantucket Film Festival on Sunday (25Jun17) and will be available to stream later this summer.

© WENN Newsdesk 2017