Lena Waithe Talks New Film Bad Hair 's Powerful Message: 'Black Women Have Been Forced to Conform'

Maria Pasquini
·2 min read

Lena Waithe and Vanessa Williams’ new movie Bad Hair illustrates an important message about Black hair.

In a new interview with Good Morning America, the two stars of the Hulu horror satire — which is currently streaming — opened up about the underlying message of the film, which is about a young woman who gets a weave in order to fit in at work, only to find out that the weave has a dangerous mind of its own.

“I think for a lot of black women, particularly in corporate America, they have been forced to conform and to look palatable for their white coworkers,” explained Waithe, 36. “We’ve also had this sort of European beauty and what we were supposed to look like.”

“There’s a lot of pressure on Black women to straighten their hair, even if they don’t want to,” she continued.

RELATED: First Trailer for Hulu's Bad Hair Stars Elle Lorraine as a Woman Whose Weave Turns Violent

Waithe went on to clarify that the film isn’t “anti-straight hair or natural hair, it’s more about having the freedom to wear your hair however you choose.”

“Things like the Crown Act are a prime example of that,” she added, referring to legislation that prohibits employers from discriminating against people with natural hair textures and hairstyles, which has been signed into law in a number of states.

“I think the movie is really all about not conforming to fit in but more about doing what makes sense for you and standing out,” Waithe added.

“The genre is one that we have not seen in the United States,” added Williams, explaining that stylistically, the film was based on a genre of films from Japan about killer hair. “So this is a new twist.”

“My hair and a lot of people’s hair in the movie does have some evil intentions,” she said.

Hulu Bad Hair

Set in 1989, the horror satire has an A-List cast including Laverne Cox, Jay Pharoah, Blair Underwood, Kelly Rowland, James Van Der Beek and singer Usher Raymond.

"In Bad Hair I wanted to use the language of psychological thrillers and classics in the horror genre to interrogate how systems of white supremacy are often disguised as opportunities for Black people,” director Justin Simien previously told PEOPLE.

Continuing, he added, “I also wanted to showcase Black women in a genre that typically excludes them as well as celebrate the last black renaissance of the late 80’s and 90’s."

Bad Hair is currently streaming on Hulu.