Just when you think that things can’t get worse in our “post-racial” society in the United States, this ish happens. News reports have been swirling lately about the not so PC casting call for an Acura Super Bowl commercial. The casting document’s role details call for “Nice Looking, friendly. Not too dark. Will work with a MAJOR COMEDIAN.”
I kid you not *shakes head*.
Word on the street is that an actor who was not chosen for the role shared the casting document with your favorite gossip source, TMZ. Who is responsible for this document, you ask? The answer is Cathi Carlton Casting, a casting agency that Acura chose to hire actors. Although Cathi Carlton Casting did not comment, Acura said this in a statement to CNN: “We apologize to anyone offended by the language on the casting sheet used in the selection of actors for one of our commercials. We sought to cast an African-American in a prominent role in the commercial, and we made our selection based on the fact that he was the most talented actor.”
The commercial eventually featured Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and I’m guessing a black man that’s too dark. Who’s with me?
So, is this racism? Or is this insensitivity? Or something else? You be the judge. But, it seems like one of Hollywood’s dirty little secrets about casting may be getting some well-deserved scrutiny in the upcoming weeks.
This makes me wonder what casting documents for commercials with natural men, women, and kids look like. How often do they scout explicitly for a woman with natural hair? If they do, do they say “an ethnic-looking” woman?