When “Black-ish” actress Marsai Martin presented the award for best female hip-hop artist at the BET Awards Sunday, some trolls on social media decided to go after her looks, criticizing the appearance of her hair and teeth.
Martin, who announced the award from home during the virtual BET Awards ceremony, was having none of it. The actress and producer, 15, responded to her critics on Twitter.
“Sorry some of y’all don’t like my hair. Or teeth … which are my actual teeth btw,” she tweeted. “Good thing I don’t put my effort into trying to please everyone. I like it. Chile I’m 16 this year, let me live. I’m trying to stay sane in quarantine. Enjoy the #BETAwards.”
Martin, who plays Diane Johnson in “Black-ish” and produced and starred in the movie “Little,” also clapped back at her critics in an Instagram video. She began with what looked like a tearful message of apology to anyone she “offended” with her appearance at the BET Awards.
“So I was on Twitter and a lot of people have been addressing my hair, or talking about my hair and how it looks like a grandma’s wig,” she said in the video, appearing to be fighting back tears as she spoke.
“I’m sorry to anyone that I offended or haven’t gotten to your expectations about how I’m supposed to be, and I apologize, and I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings or have anyone worried about what my decisions are,” she continued.
But then, she blew her nose into a $100 bill and dropped her tearful demeanor.
“Y’all, we are in quarantine and we got more things to focus on than just my hair,” she said. “Justice for Breonna Taylor.”
Several celebrities shared messages of support for Martin in the comments. Yara Shahidi, who plays Martin’s big sister in “Black-ish,” responded to her Instagram video with a string of cry-laughing emojis.
Michael B. Jordan also responded with a single nose-blowing emoji, and actor King Keraun, who appeared in an episode of “Black-ish,” commented, “This was so gangsta 😂😂😂 you had me i ain’t gone lie . Great message !!”
Martin has won nine NAACP Image Awards for her work in “Black-ish,” as well as the young stars award at the BET Awards last year.
She also recently became the youngest executive movie producer in Hollywood history, when she executive-produced the comedy “Little” at age 14, in addition to starring in the film.