WOMEN
12/08/2014 01:26 pm ET Updated Dec 08, 2014

Gabrielle Union: We Need More Women Of Color 'Over A Size 4, With Darker Skin Tones' In Starring Roles

Echoing the sentiment of her "Top Five" co-star Chris Rock, Gabrielle Union sees a glaring lack of parts for black women in film. But she also recognizes a force to be celebrated behind today's more diverse television landscape, and that force's name is Shonda Rhimes.

In a HuffPost Live interview on Thursday, Dec. 4 the actress praised the queen of ABC's Thursday night programming and her commitment to featuring all types of women in prominent roles.

"Success breeds more opportunity," she said, "so with the success of 'Scandal,' with the success of 'How To Get Away With Murder,' -- basically Shonda has taken over the most important night of television with a very diverse cast of characters."

Rhimes has featured "black women, [women of] all different sexual orientations, religions, [and] sizes," Union described, a rare offering of diversity onscreen.

Both of the leads in Rhimes' wildly popular Thursday night series are African-American women. Additionally, Rhimes writes for women of all ages: Viola Davis, the star of "How To Get Away With Murder," captivates viewers weekly even as she approaches age 50.

But while this is undoubtedly progress, Union hopes for more diverse representations of women of color in the industry on a broader scale.

"It's very limited, period," the "Bring It On" star said, referring to exposure for black women on the whole. "And when you add in women of color or women of color over a size 4, women of color with darker skin tones, women of color who want to rock natural hair, it becomes more and more limited. I have not seen that change."

Watch more from Gabrielle Union's conversation with HuffPost Live here.

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