‘Karen’ Star Taryn Manning: I Was ‘Attacked’ by White Women Who ‘Felt I Had Betrayed My Own Race’

“Karen” hits theaters on Friday

Karen movie

Actress Taryn Manning says she’s been “attacked” by white women over her new film “Karen.” The title of film — and the name of her character — has become a catch-all term in recent years for white women that engage in petulant, racist and sometimes outright dangerous behaviors, often directed at people of color.

“I was, kind of, taking it on head first and, like, responding to people, you know, ‘I’m so sorry you feel that way,’” she said in a clip for an interview with Mr. Warburton magazine. “I was attacked a lot by white women who felt that I had betrayed my own race.”

In the BET movie, Manning’s character, the aptly-named Karen White, makes various microaggressions against her Black neighbors and even threatens to call the manager on an innocent restaurant patron. 

Despite accusations from some critics that “Karen” was “damaging and irresponsible” and “just a tactic to further divide us,” Manning insists that her intentions for taking the project were pure. 

“I know when a subject is so active, it’s like an active nerve right now, a lot of people aren’t taking it well,” the “Orange is the New Black” star told the outlet. “But the point was to illuminate something that needs to be brought to the forefront so we can start to change humanity.”

In the non-videotaped portion of the interview, Manning explained that the support of her colleagues was essential in helping her to portray such a vile character.

“The only way that I could play this character was by having my director and writer Coke Daniels as well as my costars Jasmin and Cory by my side, and that they knew that this is no depiction of who I am as a person.”

Currently, Manning’s personal Instagram comments section is limited and her Twitter is private — although it is unclear if this is a direct result of the movie’s backlash.


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