06/20/2013 10:13 am ET

Gabrielle Union Tells Oprah Why She Stopped Being A 'Mean Girl' (VIDEO)

As a successful Hollywood actress, Gabrielle Union has starred in everything from comedies like "Bring It On" to action films like "Bad Boys II." But, Union says that it isn't always easy to land roles -- especially for African-American women -- and that fierce competition for these acting jobs can be a breeding ground for "mean-girl" attitudes.

In this video from Union's upcoming appearance on "Oprah's Next Chapter," she explains the mean-girl culture and offers her reasoning for why it may be so prevalent. "I think nowadays... you're supported in tearing other people down," Union says. "There's a forum for it and there's a huge spotlight on you to do that."

Union admits she, too, used to be a mean girl, but her perspective changed one night when she attended a party with her trainer and sounding board A.J. Johnson.

"I was holding court -- because I can turn a phrase and be a little slick myself -- and I was trashing somebody. Just ripping them to shreds, head to toe," Union recalls. "A.J. pulls me aside and said, 'Okay, now, how did your life change? Did you get the guy? Did you get the job? Is your house any bigger? Did money just magically get put in your pocket? What positive [event] happened in your life after you just tore that woman down?'"

Union and fellow actresses Alfre Woodard, Viola Davis and Phylicia Rashad talk more about the challenges, criticism and competition they face as African-American women in the entertainment industry on "Oprah's Next Chapter," airing Sunday, June 23, at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.



6th annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards Luncheon