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Agency, Studio & Filmmakers Behind N.W.A. Biopic Release Statements on Casting Call Outrage

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 18, 2014 11:08 AM
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Another update... this time, as expected, the casting agency has released its own statement on the matter, via its Facebook page. Here's what they had to say: 

  • This is Kristan from Sande Alessi Casting. I've been wanting to say this for two days and now I can. 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. My intention was not to offend anyone and I’m so deeply sorry for not realizing the insensitivity in its content. I'm truly so sorry.

This follows a Friday (July 18) statement released by the studio and filmmakers behind the project, which follows below.


An update on yesterday's Universal Pictures N.W.A. biopic casting notice fiasco, which caused quite an uproar as you'd expect...

Universal Pictures and the filmmakers behind the project have released a statement on the casting notice, seemingly distancing themselves from it, stating that they "did not approve and do not condone the information" in the casting notice published by Sande Alessi Casting a couple of days ago, adding, "We regret and sincerely apologize for being in any way associated with the offensive descriptions it contained."

As noted in yesterday's post, the casting company has since removed the casting notice from its Facebook page. The agency hasn't yet released its own statement on the matter, although I'm sure one will come eventually. Or maybe not...

Also worth noting, Universal did not say whether or not it planned to continue working with Sande Alessi - an agency that's been handling some of the casting for the studio's N.W.A. project. There are still other casting announcements on the film posted on the agency's website and Facebook page.

If you missed all the excitement yesterday, click here to catch up!

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  • Alex | July 20, 2014 10:03 AMReply

    I'm glad this happened. I doubt it changed anything, or anyone really got more than a slapped wrist - because this is a collective perspective on Black women. We are marginalised and constantly put on the bottom rung of the ladder. We need to look out for ourselves and the more noise we make the better. We also need to make sure we know our own damn worth, because the rest of the world - including our own men - constantly underestimate and malign us.

  • hiveship99 | July 21, 2014 2:11 PM

    We have to stop supporting projects and "art" that participate in this marginalization. If I hear on the radio another song by some black sellout espousing the beauty of white and exotic women, I am going to rip radio from my console. Stop purchasing this music and stop watching these Koonish movies that underscore this maliciousness.
    It would be nice if the Black men who do not share this same train of thought actually became a loud voice against such ridiculousness but I think that is too much to ask.

  • Uvo | July 20, 2014 11:50 AM

    According to data, Black women in the US have quite a hefty consumer clout. Until you put that power to use and stop supporting businesses, groups and people that show disrespect and disdain for you nothing is going to change.

    Those of you who are aware of the power of reciprocity need to massively raise awareness and understanding among other black women so that they can start using their resources wisely.

    I think you especially need to stop black entertainers, male and female, that degrade and devalue black women.

  • Rocket | July 19, 2014 11:18 PMReply

    They ars still casting for this. By the time the film is finally released next year no one will care. I'm not saying that's good. I'm just saying we'll have something else to be outraged at by then. And if the soundtrack has new music by Dr. Dre and Cube (that's actually good) people really won't care.

  • Cera | July 19, 2014 8:25 PMReply

    When the N.W.A. project was initially announced, I couldn't wait to check it out.
    But now you coundn't pay me to see this foolishness.

  • Mike | July 19, 2014 5:28 PMReply

    This is being blown out of proportion. Nothing was meant by the A-D denotations. I am still excited about this film and can't wit to see it when it come out NEXT YEAR!

  • Marie | July 20, 2014 3:59 PM

    What do you mean "nothing was meant by the A-D denotations?" Their meaning was abundantly clear! The descriptions not only clearly divided black women by skin color, hair length, weight and economic status but worse, it attached value judgments to those descriptions. Clearly the dark, overweight and poor D group was being presented as less valuable than the light-skinned, long-haired A group. It's destructive to perpetuate such ridiculous stereotypes and those responsible should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Uvo | July 20, 2014 11:55 AM

    You are male and I assume black? If yes, then your comment is not surprising as it reflects the widespread disrespect and dislike (in some cases outright hatred) that so many black men in the US openly show for dark skinned black women. It is sad and I hope that these women will wake up and start looking out for themselves instead of supporting and raising black males that have no regard for them.

  • Ladybug | July 19, 2014 12:39 AMReply

    Ha no one is believing that statement! Laughing hysterically . . . we all know that's bullshit . . . but someone had to be thrown under the bus . . . in this case; casting. I'll be passing!

  • dee | July 18, 2014 4:14 PMReply

    I am not surprised by this. If the casting announcement was not listed for the world to see, it would have been what casting would have been looking for anyway and still is in my opinion. We live in a world with ignorant people.

  • Africameleon | July 18, 2014 3:13 PMReply

    Their apology doesn't matter. If behind closed doors (away from social media) this is STILL their working casting call, then it doesn't matter. They can (and probably will) continue to work from this vision for A - D girls. Charge that to the game. I can't support this project.

    Now... let me take my short & curvy ('cause I like cupcakes) and natural (happy to be nappy) hair having self and get back to work ('cause I'm "poor").

  • Marie | July 20, 2014 4:01 PM

    Another LOVE here, too.

  • Uvo | July 20, 2014 12:08 PM

    The casting is in line with what is seen in the vast majority of movies (black and mainstream) that come out of the US. The same applies to the TV shows, music videos and so on.

    I reached a point a while back where I stopped watching most of the new TV shows that come from the US because the black female characters were almost always mixed race or almost white looking. I just got tired of it. I do not live in the US so it's not like my viewing or not viewing affects audience statistics, however, my time is of value to me and I decided that I would not spend it on programmes that continue to promote colourism.

    In the same vein I avoid most so-called black films from the US these days; I don't go to see them at the cinema and I do not watch them on cable or on DVD. The constant parade of Paula Patton and her ilk as the positive representation of black womanhood is just tiring.

  • Alex | July 20, 2014 9:54 AM

    LOVE this response.

  • Mark and Darla | July 18, 2014 2:28 PMReply

    To damn late. Everyone involved knew what on the paper before release, hope the uneducated thug movie never materialize.

  • JT | July 18, 2014 1:01 PMReply

    I don't care about apologies. It's in the actions. Cast "hot fly" main girls that look like Lupita, then we'll talk. Until then, me and the black women that I know that love themselves will not fork over one penny to see this movie.

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