black up
   (of a white actor)
   to take the role of a non-white character by applying dark make-up
   Unacceptable today on several counts, especially as being seen to mitigate against the employment of black actors:
    This means that actors should be cast because of their talent. But this policy has been refined. We do not believe that white actors should black up. {Daily Telegraph, 12 August 1996, quoting Martin Brown, a union official. Mr Brown did not take exception to the fact that a black actor had played Macbeth the previous year)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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