A coalition of several organizations issued a statement on Wednesday condemning a Deadline Hollywood article that sparked controversy for its characterization of the TV industry’s casting practices regarding minority actors.
The coalition, comprised of American Indians in Film and Television, Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, NAACP Hollywood Bureau and National Hispanic Media Coalition, condemned Deadline for publishing “inaccuracies and misconceptions.”
“Shame on Deadline for giving a platform to the prejudices of a few Hollywood agents who, under the cloak of anonymity, revealed themselves to be among the entertainment industry gatekeepers reluctant to change their unfair and exclusionary practices and make way for progress,” the statement read.
A rep for Penske Media Corporation, parent company to both Deadline and Variety, declined comment.
The original article on TV pilot casting, written Tuesday by co-editor-in-chief of TV, Nellie Andreeva, came under fire for suggesting that qualified Caucasian talent was being passed up in favor of minorities due to ethnic quotas imposed this year by networks and studios, in light of the recent success of Fox’s “Empire,” ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and other shows featuring minority leads. Commenters also took exception to the headline, which suggested that casting minorities in a large number of roles could be “too much of a good thing.”
Among the offended was “Scandal” creator/exec producer Shonda Rhimes, who tweeted, “Article is so ignorant I can’t even be bothered.”
The coalition considers the statement reflective of more systemic problems in Hollywood. “The inaccuracies and misconceptions the article put forth are patently offensive and reflect a larger problem of persisting racial and ethnic bias in the entertainment industry,” the statement read.
The coalition also recommended that both Deadline and Hollywood talent agencies hire more minority employees.