Deadline Article Insinuates That Popular Black TV Shows Are Alienating White Actors
Sometimes when white folks talk, they can’t hear the dumb isht that they are saying…
There was a noticeable shift toward minority castings last season, with more parts opening up to ethnic actors, a casting term used for non-Caucasian thesps. It was a concerted effort, with more than one instances where a family member role was rewritten as adopted to make them ethnic. Then, following the success of freshman series How To Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, Fresh Off The Boat, Jane the Virgin and especially Empire, which launched to huge ratings at the kickoff of pilot casting season, ethnic castings exploded this season.
The change is welcomed by talent agents who no longer have to call casting directors and ask them if they would possibly consider an ethnic actor for a part, knowing they would most likely be rejected. “I feel that the tide has turned,” one agent said. “I can pitch any actor for any role, and I think that’s good.”
More people of color getting casted for roles. Sounds good to us. But then…
But, as is the case with any sea change, the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal. Many pilot characters this year were listed as open to all ethnicities, but when reps would call to inquire about an actor submission, they frequently have been told that only non-Caucasian actors would be considered. “Basically 50% of the roles in a pilot have to be ethnic, and the mandate goes all the way down to guest parts,” one talent representative said.
In one instance, after a number of actors of different ethnicities tested for two roles in a pilot this year, two Caucasian actors ended up being the top choices for the two remaining regular parts. However, because of a mandate from the studio and network, one of the roles had to diverse, so the pilot could only cast one of the top choices and pass on the other to fulfill the ethnic quota. “They need to say the best man or woman wins,” one rep suggested.
Because of the sudden flood of roles for ethnic actors after years of suppressed opportunities for them, the talent pool of experienced minority performers — especially in the younger range — is pretty limited. That has led to a feeding frenzy, with a number of straight offers locking in ethnic talent before they could be snatched by another pilot.
Let’s start with “the pendulum might have swung a bit too far”. B**** please! After all the years of being reduced to token roles, or worse, NO roles at all, we find a modicum of success and now we’re “taking all the jobs away from white people. Here’s a chair, sit.
While they are among the most voracious and loyal TV viewers, African-Americans still represent only 13% of the U.S. population. They were grossly underserved, but now, with shows as Empire, Black-ish, Scandal and HTGAWM on broadcast, Tyler Perry’s fare on OWN and Mara Brock Akil’s series on BET, they have scripted choices, so the growth in that fraction of the TV audience might have reached its peak.
As the broadcast networks are looking to add a number of new series targeting black viewers in the fall, we will see if that viewership can further expand (Empire and Black-ish have managed to successfully to co-exist in the same time slot this midseason). Since broadcast TV is a historically reactive business, that will determine whether the trend of ethnic casting will come back with a vengeance next season.
Translation: “There aren’t that many black folks in the America anyway, they should be perfectly satisfied with their lil’ shows and not be greddy by reaching for more.”
Twitter is currently disemboweling the writer of this article, Nellie Andreeva (feel free to contact her HERE with your thoughts).
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Image via ABC