A casting call posted on Sunday by Sande Alessi Casting provoked outrage and horror among Internet users -- and rightfully so. The incredibly offensive posting for the movie Straight Outta Compton, a biopic about hip-hop group N.W. A., asked girls to submit their applications to appear in the film -- after they categorized themselves into four categories: A Girls, B Girls, C Girls and D Girls. The Facebook posting has since been deleted, but Gawker released the original casting call:
A Girls are billed as "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."
B Girls are listed as "fine girls, long natural hair, really nice bodies. Small waists, nice hips. You should be light-skinned. Beyonce is a prototype here."
C Girls are "African American girls, medium to light skinned with a weave."
D Girls are "African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone."
Yeah, we'll let that sink in for a moment.
There's nothing ambiguous about it: the casting call clearly perpetuates racist stereotypes and offensive ideas about what "beauty" means. We hate to break it to Sande Alessi but one of the most beautiful women in the world happens to be a dark-skinned woman: Lupita Nyong'o. Would she be classified as a "D Girl" simply because of her skin tone?
Naturally, Universal Pictures and the filmmakers behind the planned biopic have distanced themselves from the racist, sexist casting call. "Universal Pictures and the filmmakers for Straight Outta Compton did not approve and do not condone the information in this casting notice," they said in a joint statement. "We regret and sincerely apologize for being in any way associated with the offensive descriptions it contained."
Kristan Berona of Sande Alessi has also issued an apology for the posting: "I would like to sincerely apologize for recently posting a casting announcement that used offensive language to recruit women for a film our agency is working on," she wrote. "My intention was not to offend anyone, and I'm deeply sorry for not realizing the insensitivity in its content."
What are your thoughts on the situation?