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Hollywood actor Wendell Pierce alleges racial discrimination in Harlem Housing denial

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Hollywood actor Wendell Pierce, known for his roles in “Suits” and “The Wire,” has accused a Harlem landlord of denying his family member’s application for an apartment based on race, despite Pierce acting as the guarantor.

Pierce, who portrayed Robert Zane in “Suits,” claimed that his relative’s application was rejected even after providing proof of Pierce’s steady income from several prominent acting gigs. The incident has sparked a passionate response from the actor, who took to social media to share his frustrations.

“For those of you who don’t understand my righteous anger; I’m on 2 TV series, ELSBETH and RAISING KANAN. I’m filming SUPERMAN. Two years ago, I finished the fourth season of JACK RYAN. Last year I finished a run on Broadway in DEATH OF A SALESMAN,” Pierce wrote, highlighting his extensive acting resume.

“Even with my proof of employment, bank statements and real estate holdings, a white apartment owner DENIED my application to rent the apartment … in Harlem, of all places,” Pierce expressed on social media.

The actor’s claims come at a time of heightened awareness of racial discrimination issues in housing and business. He pointed to a recent court decision against allowing a black-owned venture capitalist firm to award grants exclusively to black female entrepreneurs as further evidence of systemic racism.

Pierce, 60, emphasized the broader implications of such discrimination. “The effort being made to deny Black folks from participating in ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ is abhorrent,” he said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Pierce appeared on CNN to discuss the incident further. “I wanted to tell a personal story,” he explained. “A young family member who graduated from Harvard University has his first job in New York and I take him apartment shopping, and I wanted to make sure that he got a decent apartment, and I was backing him up.”

He described how, despite offering to pay a year’s rent in advance and providing extensive financial documentation, the application was still denied. “It was by design,” Pierce asserted, suggesting that the application process was structured to discriminate.

Pierce’s allegations have drawn attention to ongoing issues of racial discrimination in housing and business practices, prompting calls for greater awareness and action.

The actor’s experience underscores the challenges faced by many African Americans in securing housing and equal opportunities, despite professional success and financial stability.

Wendell Pierce continues to advocate for change, urging the public to recognize and address systemic racism in all forms, particularly in business and housing practices.

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