Saturday, March 05, 2016

13113: Typecasting Calls.

Adfreak spotlighted a video featuring actresses reading real casting call specs with sexist requirements. Hey, someone should do a similar video for minority actors, where the routine casting call specs include racist stereotypes that are discriminatory and arguably illegal.

Actresses Read the Real (and Really Sexist) Casting Calls They’re Subjected to Each Day Project encourages women to create their own content

By David Griner

If you needed evidence women are still stymied by stereotypes in ads and shows, look no further than this eye-opening and eye-rolling video.

“Casting Call, The Project” features 18 women reading real casting notices into the camera, with their reactions ranging from raised eyebrows and exasperated sighs to obscenities and abject disgust.

“In our quest to find and create work, we became all too familiar with reading character breakdowns posted on casting call notices via the numerous casting websites (some legitimate and reputable, others, not so much),” wrote the three artists who created the project. “Throughout this journey, we would often share with each other particularly ridiculous, hysterical and appalling casting call notices.”

The three friends—Julie Asriyan, Laura Bray and Jenna Ciralli—decided to compile some of these many infuriating notices into a video that could be passed along by those who share their frustrations. The plan seems to be working, with the video having received more than 320,000 views in its first 24 hours on Facebook.

Each casting call included in the video is riddled with undertones (or blatant overtones) of stereotypes about gender, race, age and body type.

Most convey the usual ad/film stereotypes: “Loves being a woman, so she probably wears a push-up bra.” “She’s actually pretty, even with no makeup.” “Nerdy type of girl, nevertheless she has a boyfriend who loves her.” “Her cleavage is her best feature.”

Several highlight the casting industry’s laughable view of feminism, with lines like: “Lead actress needed for film about feminism. She is moderately attractive.” Another: “Prefer an actor who is not thin. This is a great role for a feminist.”

The goal of the project, created by three friends in New York, isn’t just to point out the industry’s sexism and ridiculous tropes. It’s also about showing creative women why they should also be focused on producing their own content. By taking ownership of the creative process, women can “bring about the roles we all want to see for female actors,” the project’s creators said.

If you’re interested in learning more about the women included in the video, you can read their acting bios on the project’s website,

1 comment:

ByeByeNY said...

I've seen so much worse than this, I wouldn't even know where to start. "Open to all ethnicities" on the casting notice is standard, but then the ad agency tells the casting director "we kind of want a suburban look, you know?" behind the curtain. IE NO URBAN.

Callbacks where only lightskinned AA women with wavy hair magically get to the final rounds. Every single damn campaign.

Any actor with light skin and dark hair (Italian, Greek, Irish, doesn't matter) gets cast as Hispanic, but no actual Hispanics get cast if they're dark skinned. Or god forbid black.

Casting notices sent out by different ad agencies specifically asking for mixed race kids. Can't have a full raced kid star in ads these days, oh no. Mixed race only.

Casting notices for ads that say open to Caucasian, Ambiguous, AA, Asian, Latino, NA for supporting roles, followed by an identical one (same brand, same agency, same job) that say "looking for Caucasian actor/actress, XYZ age for featured role". That pays 10x better, of course.

The rise of the ambiguous casting. That's a brunette person who can pass for Asian or Latin or Middle Eastern, so the ad agency saves money and splits the difference between different markets.

And on and on and on.