Minority Groups Outraged After Hollywood Rag Questions Ethnic Casting Trend

AP Photo/ABC/Nicole Rivelli
AP Photo/ABC/Nicole Rivelli

A number of multi-ethnic media organizations joined together Wednesday to condemn a controversial Deadline Hollywood article that suggested the 2015 television season’s uptick in minority casting represented “too much of a good thing.”

American Indians in Film and Television, Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, NAACP Hollywood Bureau, and National Hispanic Media Coalition issued a statement blasting Deadline for publishing an article full of  “inaccuracies and misconceptions,” according to Variety.

“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 group said in a statement.

The original Deadline article sent shockwaves through the entertainment media world on Wednesday. Titled “Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings – About Time or Too Much of a Good Thing?,” the article quoted several television executives who claimed that due to so-called “ethnic quotas” in television pilot casting, white actors were being overlooked for parts that had been designated for minority actors.

“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 executive is quoted as saying in the article.

“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 media groups wrote in their statement.

The article drew swift condemnation from TV figures and media outlets. Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes tweeted her disgust with the article, writing, “Article is so ignorant I can’t even be bothered.”

The Washington Post‘s Alexandra Petri called the article “an insult to all TV viewers,” characterizing the piece as an “abominable smorgasbord of ill-conceived half-thoughts and fits of wild-eyed terror.” The New York Times‘ David Itzkoff also blasted the article, writing “Just astounding that something so tone deaf could be published in 2015 by a credible news source.”

Nellie Andreeva, the author of the original Deadline piece, did not immediately return Breitbart News’s request for comment.