Shonda Rhimes Blasts Deadline’s Diversity Story: This article is so ignorant!

shonda rhimes-blasts deadline diversity article-the jasmine brand

The conversation about diversity in Hollywood continues, but this time from a different angle. A writer named Nellie Andreeva, wrote a Deadline story titled Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings — About Time or Too Much of a Good Thing? In the story, Nellie argues that there may be too many roles given to minority actors. In the story, she writes:

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.”

Empire Cast

Empire cast

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.