Sep 16, 2020
Women of Color Unite (WOCU) and Casting Society of America (CSA) have come together to create Reimagine Casting: A Non-White Paper. The partnership is a collaborative effort to address the exclusion of marginalized groups based on ethnicity, size, disability, color, gender, sexual orientation and age. It is a unified call for increased equity and inclusion in casting.
“Our collaboration with WOCU is an important and necessary step in further moving the casting profession forward to ensure equitable and inclusive practices. The Reimagine Casting: A Non-White Paper offers our members an opportunity to directly pledge their commitment to this important topic and drive real change,” said Mike Page, Co-Chair of the CSA Equity & Entertainment Committee, CSA Board of Directors.
The Non-White Paper presents a powerful look at a culture of inequity that limits opportunities for many actors and perpetrates an unrealistic narrow reflection of society.
WOCU members contributed by sharing their experiences:
"The politicization of my hair as a Black woman in the industry is like being a circus animal jumping through hoops.”
“I was told I’m not black enough.”
“I was told I’m too black.”
“I was told that because I have an accent, I can play a nurse but never a doctor and that I can play a teacher but never a professor.”
The Equity in Entertainment Committee of CSA and WOCU’s Actors Committee worked together to strategize and create solutions for change that offers a casting process more reflective of the vast society in which we live. We are disabled, athletic, fat, skinny, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, non-religious, dark, light, queer, trans, young, old, all labels and no labels. No one size fits all.
The publication of the Non-White Paper is the beginning of breaking down barriers that have stopped talented actors from working for too many years and opens up opportunities for casting directors to present talent based on their merits as actors, not from “Cookie-Cutter” Hollywood stereotypes.
“When Studios and Production Companies say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ what I believe they mean is that police brutally ending a heartbeat that belongs to a Black person matters. We are hopes and dreams, fair access, fair treatment and fair pay. We are more than a heartbeat. I am more than a heartbeat,” said Cheryl L. Bedford, founder of Women of Color Unite.
Producers, Directors, Casting Directors, Production Companies and Studios can sign to take the Pledge for Equity in Casting for the world to see that you are a partner for change. To view, download, and sign the Non-White Paper, visit: https://wocunite.org/non-white-paper/.
In addition, WOCU and CSA have partnered on #Startwith8Hollywood CSA Edition, WOCU's Professional Enrichment Program, and the CSA/WOCU Roundtable Discussion Series.
For media inquiries, contact Amy Malone, Girl in Charge Public Relations, 323-972-4081 or email@example.com.
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