'Straight Outta Compton' Casting Call Implies Light Skin Is More Beautiful
The casting agency behind the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton is getting flack for putting out a casting call that looks pretty damn racist.
According to Gawker, Sande Allesi Casting posted a casting call on Wednesday (since taken down) that basically correlates beauty to skin tone. We don't know what A through D means, but they kinda look like rankings. What is clear is that it's straight-up colorism in 2014. The hottest roles with the best bodies go to a variety of different races, and then the next best roles for "fine girls" go to "light-skinned" women (it reads, "Beyonce is a prototype here"). The lone request for dark-skinned actresses are the "D-girls" who are "Poor, not in good shape."
You can read the entire casting call here:
SAG OR NON UNION CASTING NOTICE FOR FEMALES-ALL ETHNICITIES- from the late 80's. Shoots on "Straight Outta Compton". Shoot date TBD. We are pulling photos for the director of featured extras. VERY IMPORTANT - You MUST live in the Los Angeles area (Orange County is fine too) to work on this show. DO NOT SUBMIT if you live out of the area. Nobody is going to be flying into LA to do extra work on this show - and don't tell me you are willing to fly in. SAG OR NON UNION FEMALES - PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR SPECIFIC BREAKDOWN. DO NOT EMAIL IN FOR MORE THAN ONE CATEGORY:
A GIRLS: These are the hottest of the hottest. Models. MUST have real hair - no extensions, very classy looking, great bodies. You can be black, white, asian, hispanic, mid eastern, or mixed race too. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: A GIRLS
B GIRLS: These are fine girls, long natural hair, really nice bodies. Small waists, nice hips. You should be light-skinned. Beyonce is a prototype here. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: B GIRLS
C GIRLS: These are African American girls, medium to light skinned with a weave. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: C GIRLS
D GIRLS: These are African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone. Character types. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: D GIRLS
It is something we’ve internalized historically, but it’s something that is continuously affirmed within our society. When we look at print media, internet, and television media, who are the Black people that are in positions of power? Who are the anchors? And we see for the most part, particularly women, are lighter skinned with more European phenotypes. Who are the women who are positioned as beautiful love interests in movies and music videos that we’re watching? More often than not, they’re lighter skinned. When we look into the context of politics in the Black community, who has historically been in the positions of leadership---including the President of the United States--- so it’s this visual coding going on that we don’t even have to think about. You make these observations and you see who is in power and you make the connections of what phenotype is more powerful and valuable in this society. It’s one of those things that we didn’t create, but we continue to operate from it.
ABC News interviewed actress Wendy Raquel Robinson about what she has noticed in the entertainment industry: "I've never been offered, you know, the crackhead or the distressed mother," she said. "I play the very upscale, educated young lady. I do have some peers that are a lot darker than myself. They don't get the opportunities."
The casting agency released a call for its male actors today, asking for African American street thugs, record producers and label executives; this time, they kept the skin tone out of this one.