During this year’s Super Bowl, a commercial was aired with Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno. In the casting call requirements a request was made for the actor to be playing the car dealer to be a “Nice-looking, friendly, not too dark” African-American. When queried about the racist undertones of such a request, someone associated with the casting agency offered this lame excuse: that lighting and special effects for an actor too dark “would get tricky.”
Unfortunately, such casting notices go out all the time. Very often, they don’t just reflect racism – they reflect ideological nastiness. Dwight Schultz, star of The A Team, supplied Breitbart.com with a casting sheet for a cartoon show that asked for a villain who would be just like “Dick Cheney.” Other casting calls have featured requests for women with real breasts only.
The outcry has been less than deafening. No surprise there – in Hollywood, racism goes unpunished, even if Hollywood itself pretends to be a bastion of tolerance.