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"Girls" Looking To Diversify Cast With "Hipsters" Of All Ethnicities

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
May 18, 2012 1:31 PM
15 Comments
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A number of you emailed this to me earlier today... h/t to you all!

I've already shared my thoughts on the entire Lena Dunham Girls "lack of diversity" fiasco (read that post HERE if you missed it), and lots of you had plenty to say as well; last I checked, there were 134 comments; so certainly a matter of serious interest to many of us.

Some of you (especially actors and actresses) might be pleased with this bit of news. You may have even already seen it (the people who sent it to me were all actors/actresses). I say you might be please because it means some of you just may be getting paid work! Although, given the listed shoot dates (May 15 to August 28, 2012), I'll assume casting is already complete??

A casting notice from Backstage magazine for season 2 of the hit new HBO series, right here in New York City

'GIRLS' SEASON 2, HIPSTERS

Central Casting New York is casting background for the second season of HBO's Girls, a comedy about the experiences of a group of girls in their early 20s. Lena Dunham and Allison Williams star. Robb Fitzgerald, extras casting. Shoots May 15-Aug. 28, 2012 in the NYC area. Seeking—Hipster Types: male and female, 18-30s, all ethnicities, all types, specifically seeking people with tattoos, piercings, colored hair, and unique looks. For consideration, email pix & contact info via Back Stage; indicate "Hipster" in both the cover letter and "submission question" fields. Pay provided.

Under ethnicity, it says: 

Caucasian/White, African-American/Black, Latin/Hispanic/South American, Asian, Native American, European, Middle Eastern, Indian/South Asian, Other

So, everybody! It's a mutli-culti party up in here!

But this looks like it's just extras casting, so I'm guessing no plump, starring roles are being offered here; the Girls may not be getting a BBF. Or are they?

So the question now is whether this is what Dunham meant when she told NPR about 10 days ago that the diversity problem in Girls would be addressed in the next season. And if so, will it be enough to satisfy the critics?

As I said in my rant about all this, I actually would prefer if they kept the show as is; I don't want anything that feels forced and disingenuous; I don't want to feel pandered to or placated. It's insulting. 

But if Dunham and HBO intend on answering critics by diversifying the show's cast (whether with extras, or starring/supporting roles), my hope is that what we get fully realized, complex human characters  - especially if it's a starring/supporting role that's being introduced next season.

I'm curious if any of our readers saw this casting notice, submitted for it, and were called back, or are in... If so, give up the goods!

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15 Comments

  • Stars | May 18, 2012 9:09 PMReply

    I'm perplexed!!! Why this show? Let's just create our own show plus there are sooooo many shows on T.V. that don't have people of color on them.... Why the fuss over this show? I say let's create our own shows because there's enough tokenism to take us into the next millenium!

  • April | May 18, 2012 7:05 PMReply

    There's another breakdown for a hipster blogger that says PLEASE SUBMIT ALL ETHNICITIES. Seems a little desperate now.

  • Anonym | May 18, 2012 5:54 PMReply

    Supremely whacked out. At this point this whole thing is too deliberate.

  • other song | May 18, 2012 3:20 PMReply

    yawn

  • cocoAngel | May 18, 2012 3:13 PMReply

    donals glover is now part of the show!

  • David | May 18, 2012 2:58 PMReply

    The 'Asian' hipster will be the girl doing Lena Dunham's nails at the local salon, while the African American one will be the drifting angel-figure that ushers in moments of epiphany. And the Indian one -- someone's got to mind the Halal carts in Jackson Heights when the girls make their trek to the global south. Diversity training paying epic dividends.

  • CareyCarey | May 18, 2012 2:30 PMReply

    Say it louder Cherish "BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR". That's right, I was thinking of the song by James Brown and The Famous Flames., Oh Baby Don't You Weep". Then again, the song by the Temptations might be more appropriate -- I Wish It Would Rain... "I know to you, it might sound strange but I wish it would rain, 'cause so badly I wanna go outside but everyone knows that a man ain't supposed to cry. Listen, I gotta cry 'cause crying eases the pain. Oh yeah, people this hurt I feel inside, cus we bitched and moaned about the GIRLS back home in Brooklynn. Words could never explain, I just wish it would rain". Yep, history is repeating itself. Some black folks cried a river to get Amos & Andy removed from tv. They said it wasn't a true represention/image of black life. So what happened? Well, the powers to be heard their ambiguous cries and thus, gave them what they asked for. The next black series to appear on television -- many years later -- after the dust cleared, was centered on a foul mouth, ignorant, dusty, unshaven black man, who lived in a pigsty qhich was located in the middle of his broke down junk yard. Yep, Sanford & Son -- the true image of black folks in America. But since the black klan had showed their hold card, all they could do was bow down and wish it would rain.

  • Kid chaos | May 18, 2012 2:15 PMReply

    The only times a white girl hangs around a black girl if the white girl is a ghetto chick.

  • exception | May 20, 2012 4:00 AM

    Totally untrue.

  • bondgirl | May 18, 2012 2:10 PMReply

    That's the response to all the lamenting? Paying $85 for 8-12 hours of work to actors of color in thankless roles? Who says complaining doesn't pay off?

  • Bayard | May 18, 2012 1:49 PMReply

    Dunham has to at least reflect the reality of random people walking along NYC's streets. This is a standard cattle call for extras. It literally says "background" and "extras" in the statement. Any decent speaking part would go through an agent, unbeknownst to anyone without representation.

  • K.G.A. | May 18, 2012 1:48 PMReply

    Ditto to Jen.

  • Robin | May 18, 2012 1:47 PMReply

    Still think your write-up was the best of the glut of Girls essays, in spite of or maybe because you never watched the show. Way to go Tambay. The link is to a casting call for what looks to be a substantial part and, though odds are never good, maybe a meaty one. Tiny fierce lesbian who bar fights and cans might be a lot of rehashing, but it also sounds hipstered out like everyone on the show.

    As casting calls are being used in Girls essays, another interesting thing is that ppl get to see how lowest common denominator most casting calls really are. Some of those critiques just need to realize how horrible and reductive almost all casting call language is, not just those for token roles on white ass shows like Girls.

    http://jezebel.com/5905583/it-looks-like-girls-is-going-to-have-a-black-character-after-all

  • Jen | May 18, 2012 1:40 PMReply

    Agreed. If they pull a Sex and the City/JHud move, I.Am.Done.

  • Cherish | May 18, 2012 1:33 PMReply

    Ugh. Well, y'all know the saying, Be careful what you wish for...

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