Paris Jackson Jokes About Halsey Being Black on ‘Swarm': WATCH
Created by Donald Glover and Janine Nabers, the psychological horror series, which hit streaming today, follows a young woman named Dre (Dominique Fishback) who is obsessed with a fictional pop star named Ni'Jah.
Jackson plays a stripper named Hailey in the series. In the show's second episode, "Honey," Dre begins to work as an exotic dancer and is criticized by the other dancers for not being good enough.
However, Hailey says she likes how Dre dances and the two go to breakfast together.
"OK, not to be weird but I feel really connected to you. Like, I understand what it feels like to not be accepted, to live out of a suitcase and not have any friends. I mean, I ran away from my last relationship because he couldn't accept me being Black," she tells Dre.
Confused by her response, Dre asks Hailey, who appears white-passing, if she is really Black.
"Yeah. My dad's half," she explains, before referencing real-life pop star Halsey.
"That's why my stage name's Halsey. You do know who Halsey, is right? Have you been living under a rock? She's like, the best singer out," Hailey says.
Watch a clip below:
Many viewers found Jackson's joke on Swarm ironic, given that Jackson's dad, the late Michael Jackson, was Black.
In 2017, Jackson told Rolling Stone about how her dad helped her embrace her Black roots.
"[He] would look me in the eyes and he'd point his finger at me and he'd be like, 'You're Black. Be proud of your roots.' And I'd be like, 'OK, he's my dad, why would he lie to me?' So I just believe what he told me. 'Cause, to my knowledge, he's never lied to me," she said.
Halsey, who is multiracial, is the daughter of a half-Black father and white mother.
In June 2020, Halsey opened up about her privilege as a white-passing person amid the Black Lives Matter protests.
"I'm white passing. It’s not my place to say 'we.' It’s my place to help. I am in pain for my family, but nobody is gonna kill me based on my skin color. I’ve always been proud of who I am but it’d be an absolute disservice to say 'we' when I’m not susceptible to the same violence," she wrote in a tweet at the time.