October 29th, 2013
03:13 PM ET

Viola Davis: 'Shopping while black' happens to her 'all the time'

The phrase "shopping while black" may be new to some, but to actress Viola Davis it's the "story of my life."

The celebrated 48-year-old actress, who stars in November's anticipated release "Ender's Game," told CNN at the movie's Los Angeles premiere on Monday night that she can easily relate to the four New Yorkers who've brought complaints of alleged racial profiling against department stores like Macy's and Barney's New York.

In one case, "Treme" actor Robert Brown claimed that he was racially profiled at the Herald's Square Macy's in June, telling media gathered at a recent press conference that at least three plainclothes officers stopped him, accused him of using a fraudulent credit card and detained him inside the store.

The discussion has put the expression "shopping while black" front-and-center as consumers describe being treated with suspicion - something that even a red carpet mainstay like Davis says she experiences "all the time."

"That's the story of my life," Davis said at her film's premiere. "My gosh, I mean, that's been happening since the beginning of time. I'm going to go into the store and you're just gonna have to follow me and you're gonna waste about, I don't know, an hour or half-hour of your time following me because I'm not going to steal anything.”

Davis isn't the only high-profile celebrity who's been subjected to such treatment. During the summer, Oprah Winfrey, too, said she experienced racism while shopping at an upscale retailer in Switzerland.


Filed under: Celebrities

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