A recent article by Deadline's TV editor set tongues wagging and eyes rolling across media insiders and fans alike when it asked if the recent uptick in Hollywood's "ethnic casting" was "too much of a good thing."
"As is the case with any sea change," Deadline's Nellie Andreeva wrote this week, "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."
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Today, a multi-ethnic coalition, including American Indians in Film and Television, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Asian Pacific America Media Coalition, and NAACP Hollywood Bureau, slammed the article for its "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," read the statement, citing the nearly 40% growth of communities in color in America and their lack of representation in mainstream media.
Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes dismissed the article as "ignorant" in a tweet. A chorus of angry readers took to social media with sarcastic and exasperated responses.
The top shows for the 2013-2014 TV season, including shows like The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, The Walking Dead, The Blacklist, and Person of Interest, have predominantly white casts or are led by white characters. This 2014-2015 television season has seen a number of successful TV programs with minority casts such as Empire, How To Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, and Fresh Off The Boat.