Naomi Campbell says she never uses the word “racism” as she finds the term “cliche”.
The supermodel was asked by Alan Carr on tonight’s episode of Chatty Man if she experienced much racism when starting out her career in the late 1980s.
“I never use that word ‘racism’, I find it a cliche word and I don’t want to use it as an excuse,” she said.
“For me it was, I call it ‘territorialism’ where there are people that have that certain territory and they stand their ground and they are not going to change their mind and that is their opinion”.
In her upcoming book, Campbell discusses the “extra effort” she felt she had to put in to her modelling because of her skin colour.
“When I started out, I wasn’t being booked for certain shows because of the colour of my skin. I didn’t let it rattle me,. From attending auditions and performing at an early age, I understood what it meant to be black,” she wrote. “You had to put in the extra effort. You had to be twice as good.”
After being scouted at the age of 15, the 45-year-old became the first black model to appear on the cover of French Vogue in 1987 and Time magazine.
She revealed to Carr she initially wasn’t chosen to grace the cover of French Vogue but fought for it with the help of iconic designer Yves Saint Laurent.
“I asked him to fix the situation and he did. That’s how I got it,” she explained. “There is always a way. I like to rise to all of these challenges.”
As one of the original supers, Campbell said she continues to fight for models of colour today: “Right now, today, as I sit here, I fight for the younger models of colour, and when I say colour I mean of all colours, it’s all shades and origins that have a hard time. Again, it’s not saying, ‘You’re racist’. That isn’t what it is about. Maybe we should remind you when casting to use all colours and models of colour.”