Racism within the industry

  • User Deleted

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    Going through many audition calls, most of them without any reason have specified even the racial backgound of the actor. Seems we are stepping into racism again. I mean can not a arabic or a turkish couple have problem in court. It's time we all rise our voices and stop the hidden and quiet racism that nobody dare to talk about, of the fear of being laughed at, or not listened to and neglected. Now correct me on this if i am wrong, but isn't that true, that in usa, they are not allowed to publicise auditions whith racial references?

    Is it only we follow that country exclusivley on invasion of other countries, but let their inspiring aspects pass our by/

    davoud rastgou

    • 21st Aug 2008
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    • 96
  • Monty Burgess

    Actor

    Actually in the US they can specify any ethnicity they like.

    • 4th Aug 2008
    • 1
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    Equity has run many campaigns to eradicate racism from the industry. It is appalling that it even exists.

    However casting directors still insist on 'calling the shots' for their productions.

    It all comes down to lack of education and ignorance most of the time.

    It is true that the USA still has a problem with their production casting. As does this country. However Equity is addressing the problem in whatever way it can.

    • 4th Aug 2008
    • 2
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    When you specify that it 'racist' what exactly do you mean?

    • 4th Aug 2008
    • 3
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    am i right (or totally wrong) in thinking there is a special act/clause which allows acting jobs to be advertised as looking for a specific race or ethniticy?

    because although in a normal job it is against the law to discrimate against someone applying for a job based on their race, it is sometimes necessary in the acting world to be specific about race depending on the script.

    it's a very grey area i think

    • 4th Aug 2008
    • 4
  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    Oh for goodness sake! Can we not start pulling out the race card just 'cos we were passed over for an audition!

    If the script calls for a role to be played by an ethnic minority (and I count Scottish, Welsh or Yorkshire, etc. in there too) can the Casting Director not state as such in the brief without some miffed actor with political or financial motives in mind calling them a racist!

    ...and before you start battering me with the racist card some of my best friends and drinking buddies are non-caucasian!

    If you feel this industry isn't giving you a fair shot then either make your own opportunities or find another industry...Noel Clarke, Will Johnson & Hardeep Singh Kholi are just 3 excellent examples of people who created their own opportunities in this industry without bitching and moaning about how racist it is! FYI. It is just as hard for white middle class actors to get a break as it is for the so called ethnic minorities! The key to success is, and always has been, work bloody hard and give 100% to any and all roles you get!

    Rant over!

    • 4th Aug 2008
    • 5
  • Katharine Kavanagh

    Actor

    although I'm not going to be quite as vehement as ForbesKB, I do agree with him to the extent that it's very easy to label something 'rascist' because its a 'hot topic', but in this industry, castings are limited by hair colour, height, age, sex, shoe size, tone of voice... need I go on? We can't just call them all 'isms'!

    (And yes, it is annoying, especially as I tend to find that all the really exciting parts are for men, even though that isn't neccesariliy implicit from the storyline and could equally be a woman! But we are subject to the creative whims and visions of the production team, and very often they are pretty narrow in their vision)

    (which I can kind of understand - if a specific casting call gets responses of 200+, what would a non-specific one get!)

    • 4th Aug 2008
    • 6
  • Monty Burgess

    Actor

    Yes, acting and modelling are legal exceptions.

    • 4th Aug 2008
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  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    i think the problem is that these legal exceptions could leave the industry open to racism - although i do not have first experience of this and don't know how frequently it occurs

    • 4th Aug 2008
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  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Sometimes, the role requires a specific colour(which may be caucasian) or a certain ethnic background - depends on the script. I've found that some directors find it interesting to break the stereotypes in their choice of actors eg.I was being considered for a 'Private Detective'role. Others don't; when do you see a hijabed newsreader? But if a channel was going to introduce one, my guess is it would be Channel 4...........Channel 4, I'm heeeeere!!!

    • 4th Aug 2008
    • 9
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    it would be nice if we could see these boundaries broken a little more - let's escape from the norm! i do think it's happening more and more these days.

    • 4th Aug 2008
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  • Alice Henley

    Actor

    I have to say I agree with ForbesK, labelling it racist seems a little strong. A casting director has to be specific with roles otherwise it's a waste of time!! Whether thats the ethnicity, height, weight, age or whatever, every role is specific!! you'd find it unlikely to cast a white othello. Would you really want to waste your time going to an audition when the director has a clear view of what he/she is looking for and you do not fit? i know i don't.

    • 5th Aug 2008
    • 11
  • Kevin Patrick Buxton

    Actor

    Well done Forbes, im sure there are a lot of people on this site biting their lips and haveing to slap their hands hard to stop them writting some comment or other about this topic. In fact, hold on isnt that also some form of rasism, not being able to speak your mind for fear of how others may read it ? its a funny old world we live in at the mo, funny but with silent laughter. I do 100% understand where you are comming from and also find it very hard to deal with at times.

    • 5th Aug 2008
    • 12
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    "In fact, hold on isnt that also some form of rasism, not being able to speak your mind for fear of how others may read it?"

    um... no i'm pretty sure that is not a form of racism!

    • 5th Aug 2008
    • 13
  • Kevin Patrick Buxton

    Actor

    hi sara, yes what I ment was that if you are not the same "race" and you say or comment about anything to do with another "race" and they dont agree then it must be racist

    • 5th Aug 2008
    • 14
  • Leila Reid

    Actor

    The problem is that we live in such a politically correct society and I completly agree with forbes on this matter it is a little harsh calling it racist but yes it do agree that everyone has the same problems but i do think in this industry it is completly necessary due to the large number of us, it would give the CD's so much more work because basically everyone could play anything, which would be a good experience but the questions that need to be asked is will the audience believe it.

    Also this works both ways it appears that the basis of your argument is that actors from some backgrounds cannot play a part because it is considered that the particular part is associated with white people so surely then you could argue it the other way if there are casting calls for eastern europeon or eurpeon people or black then surely could you say that it is being racist against white people?

    HELL NO!

    my point being in that we could argue this to the end of time but i believe it is necessary for this industry and it is up to the CD who they feel is right but it is good that times are changing and people relise that parts can be played by people from other backgrounds but it will take time!

    l xox

    • 5th Aug 2008
    • 15
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    aha, understood kevin!

    i think you've summed it up well there leila. times are definitely changing which is great but we also need to understand the need for CD's to be selective.

    • 5th Aug 2008
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  • Helen Belbin

    Actor

    another factor could be that some theatre companies need to use an ethnically diverse cast to satisfy funding criteria.

    i totally agree that a casting breakdown should be able to specify race aswell as build or singing range etc.

    of course it would be nice if some companies were a bit more open minded. some are-i've seen shows where members of the same family have different ethnic backgrounds and it doesn't bother me as the audience member-after all theatre is all about the willing suspension of disbelief...

    obviously if someone has been treated badly because of their race that is a different matter altogether!

    • 6th Aug 2008
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  • Farah Sardar

    Actor

    Yes indeedy......in which case, I should be putting myself up for the next Elizabeth Bennet....'Oh, Mr Darcey!'

    • 6th Aug 2008
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  • Helen Belbin

    Actor

    my point exactly miss fuzz-and why not?!

    • 6th Aug 2008
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