Why Tia Mowry Felt Like She Was Treated Unfairly On The Set Of Sister, Sister

Twin sisters Tia Mowry and Tamera Mowry got a glimpse of the Hollywood industry at an early age after the girls started to participate in local talent shows and pageants. Eventually they began booking commercials and Tia ended up landing several minor roles on shows like "Dangerous Women," "True Colors," and "Full House," per IMDb. However, it wasn't until the sisters were 16 years old that they finally got their big break. 

Tia and Tamera became a household name after starring in the ABC hit series "Sister, Sister" in 1994 which launched their careers to all-new heights. The show featured legendary actors Jackée Harry and Tim Reid and followed the lives of identical twin sisters who were separated at birth but later come together as teenagers. "Sister, Sister" featured a predominantly black cast and was the definition of a feel-good sitcom that promoted positivity. "I think television has a big impact on teens and children today," Tia said during an 1995 appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." "If there are some good images on TV, they'll follow them." 

While the show appeared to be big on diversity, Tia opened up about her experience behind the scenes and how she struggled to get paid what she was worth. 

Tia Mowry faced pay discrimination while on 'Sister, Sister'

During an episode of "Tia Mowry's Quick Fix,"  Tia Mowry opened up about the moment she knew she wasn't being treated fairly as a  biracial actor in the industry. "It was so clear how you would see one show that didn't have a diverse cast that just had a bigger budget so everything just seemed bigger and better," she said, per The Things. "When it came to my projects and what I was doing, you actually really visually saw the less-than."

In addition to witnessing the blatant discrimination, the "Twitches" star had to fight for an increase in pay although "Sister, Sister" was a major success and one of the biggest sitcoms at the time. "I remember once the show became a hit, it's very normal for you to ask for a raise. That's what happens, right?" she explained. "But it was always so hard for my sister and I to get what we felt like we deserved and our paycheck never equaled our counterparts' that weren't of diversity, and that was frustrating."

Tia recounted another incident that happened after her and Tamera Mowry attempted to get on the cover of a high-profile magazine. "We were told that we couldn't be on the cover of the magazine because we were black and we would not sell," she told ET. Although she endured a lot, Tia is grateful for being able to stay natural on "Sister, Sister." 

Tia Mowry praised 'Sister, Sister' for encouraging her to wear her natural hair

Tia Mowry didn't have an easy or fair experience navigating the Hollywood industry. However, she gives credit where credit is due, and has praised "Sister, Sister" for supporting her desire to wearing her curly hair on the series. "When we were younger, it was wonderful being able to wear our natural hair," Mowry said during an interview with Elle. "People were always like, 'Oh, you're so cute. We love your curls.” In fact, the "Seventeen Again" star noted on "Tia Mowry's Quick Fix," that "Sister, Sister" and her Netflix hit series "Family Reunion" are the only two shows in her career that have been on board with Mowry sporting her natural hair on the big screen, according to The Things.

However, although the girls were fully supported, the sister's felt a need to straighten their hair as they grew older on the show. "It was such a pivotal moment in the series because it was also a reflection of what was being pushed as "beautiful" in society," Mowry told Elle. "When I straightened my hair, it damaged my hair and it damaged my natural curls. Again, there were those insecurities," she added. In fact, she recounted being told her curly hair was "distracting" during her a lot of her auditions. 

Now, Mowry is a big advocate on Instagram for women wearing their natural hair in the workforce and has no shame in being her true self.