The real reason Nikki Blonsky disappeared after Hairspray.

Back in 2007, Nikki Blonsky was a rising star in Hollywood.

She had hit the silver screen in the highly coveted role of Tracy Turnblad in the film adaption of Broadway musical Hairspray, which would land her a Golden Globe nomination and two Critics' Choice Awards.

The singer-actor led the film opposite industry heavyweights like John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah and Zac Efron. 

This was no small feat for an 18-year-old New Yorker plucked from a job working at an ice cream shop and chosen from a pool of over 1000 candidates. 

Hairspray was Blonsky's first screen role and given the surrounding praise for her enigmatic performance as Tracy, people expected this was just the beginning of a blossoming career.

Nikki Blonsky, Zac Efron and Amanda Bynes at the Hairspray premiere. Image: Getty. 


People were wrong. 

While she did work for a few years following Hairspray, with one notable role in the singing series Smash, she basically dropped off the face of the earth. 

After earning a cosmetology license, Blonsky started working as a hairstylist and makeup artist.

And now after almost a decade away from the spotlight, the now-35-year-old is back with a role in a new film, Bosco. Starring opposite Vivica Fox and Tyrese Gibson, Blonsky plays a woman who comes to the aid of a man sentenced to 35 years in prison, with the film based on the true story of Quawntay 'Bosco' Adams.

So why did it take so long for Blonsky to return to acting? 

Some assumed that she lost her passion for the industry given her career pivot, but it's worth noting a big incident that happened in 2008, a year after her Hairspray debut.

Watch the trailer for Bosco. Post continues below,

Video via Peacock.

What happened to Nikki Blonsky after Hairspray

Blonsky, along with her father Carl and mother Karen, got into a brawl with the family of former America's Next Top Model contestant, Bianca Golden.

The two families were waiting at the airport in Turks and Caicos on July 30, 2008 when the Blonsky family clashed with the Goldens. 

Today reported at the time that Nikki and her father made racial remarks towards Bianca (who is Black), before the heated exchange turned into a physical fight. Bianca's mother Elaine Golden got so badly injured in the altercation that she reportedly had to be airlifted to hospital. 

Meanwhile, Bianca, Nikki, and Nikki's father Carl were all arrested. Bianca and Nikki were charged with actual bodily harm and granted bail. Carl was charged with assault with grievous bodily harm and denied bail.

At the time, Blonsky told People that the argument began when Bianca's brother George tripped a passenger who had been saving someone's seat. 

"He looked at me and said, 'What the f**k are you looking at, you fat white b**ch?'" Blonsky claimed.

Nikki Blonsky with father Carl, brother Joey, and mother Karen in 2008. Image: Getty. 


But Bianca told a vastly different story. 

Two months after the altercation, Golden appeared on The Tyra Banks Show to share her version of the events in horrifying detail. She alleged that Blonsky and her family were "very rude" to her aunty and used racial slurs before their feud became physically violent. 

"[Nikki's father] punched my mum," she told Banks. 

"He knocked her out. He hit my mum with such force she stumbled back, and when she stumbled back, the whole [Blonsky] family got up and attacked my mum," she claimed.

"[Nikki] takes her foot and kicks my mum in her vagina, and that's when my mum fell out completely. When Nikki kicked my mum, I went and grabbed her arm, and she grabbed my earring."  

In light of Blonsky's new movie role, TikToker @ChiefNosyBystander re-shared Golden's story, and it has since blown up on the platform with over 10,000 comments left by shocked viewers. 

@chiefnosybystander #greenscreenvideo #greenscreen #nikkiblonsky is #trending and not for a good reason. People are talking about her 2008 incident at the airport in #turksandcaicos where her family was arrested for a räćïal fueled brawl #antm #tyrashow #hairsprayactress #pastevents ♬ original sound - 👀Nosy👀

"Omg I never knew this," wrote one commenter. "I wonder what happened to her? Welp, now I know!" another added. 

She finished the TikTok by adding, "The reason why she's trending is because people don't want to forget what she had did to Bianca Golden's family because I know time heals all wounds, but time does not heal racism, baby," she alleged.

After Nikki came out as gay in 2020, prompting old news stories of the incident to surface again, she shared her response to accusations of racism. 

"I am deeply saddened and hurt to hear I have been wrongly accused of ever having anything other than love in my heart for someone of a different race, when that couldn't be further from the truth," she posted on Instagram.

Image: Instagram@nikkiblonksy. 


"I am finally in a good place in my life living my true self I do not feel the need to rehash the trauma we all experienced that day or point fingers at anyone else to try to tarnish their reputation."

It's worth remembering that Blonsky's acting debut was in Hairspray, a film based on a community overcoming racial segregation and discrimination. Considering the incident took place just a year after the film's debut, it's not out of pocket to suggest that Blonsky being arrested for an alleged racially motivated crime may have blacklisted her from being offered bigger movie roles. 

Blonsky being cast in Bosco could be an intentional choice to reshape her reputation, as the movie features mostly Black actors and tells a story of the ways Black men are mistreated and scapegoated by the US penal system. 

Either way, Blonsky is back. She's previously admitted she didn't quit Hollywood - Hollywood quit her. 

"I did not take a conscious step out of Hollywood," she said in a 2017 interview with Out magazine.

"It kind of feels like the industry left me."

Feature Image: New Line Cinema. 

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