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Sande Alessi Casting’s Call for Women Incites Debate Over Race, Class and Beauty

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Sande Alessi Casting is in a bit of hot water after posting a racially insensitive casting call for the Universal Pictures film, Straight Outta Compton. The biopic will tell the story of the rap group N.W.A. and is set to be released in 2015.

Even with the cooperation of founding members Ice Cube and Dr Dre, the agency made a major faux pas when sending out the casting notice. The breakdown stereotyped women of color by how light or dark their skin color was.

See the casting notice which has since been removed from their Facebook page:

SAG OR NON UNION CASTING NOTICE FOR FEMALES-ALL ETHNICITIES- from the late 80’s. Shoots on “Straight Outta Compton”. Shoot date TBD. We are pulling photos for the director of featured extras. VERY IMPORTANT – You MUST live in the Los Angeles area (Orange County is fine too) to work on this show. DO NOT SUBMIT if you live out of the area. Nobody is going to be flying into LA to do extra work on this show – and don’t tell me you are willing to fly in.

SAG OR NON UNION FEMALES – PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR SPECIFIC BREAKDOWN. DO NOT EMAIL IN FOR MORE THAN ONE CATEGORY:

A GIRLS: These are 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. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: A GIRLS

B GIRLS: These are fine girls, long natural hair, really nice bodies. Small waists, nice hips. You should be light-skinned. Beyonce is a prototype here. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: B GIRLS

C GIRLS: These are African American girls, medium to light skinned with a weave. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: C GIRLS

D GIRLS: These are African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone. Character types. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: D GIRLS

Not only is skin color called out in the notice, but it also makes reference to class and beauty which is offensive to women on many levels. This has been a hot topic in Hollywood after fans protested the casting of biracial actress Zendaya Coleman for the Lifetime biopic about singer Aaliyah. She was dropped from the film in favor of Alexandra Shipp.

It proves that racism still exists in Hollywood as many in the industry are ignorant to the fact that categorizing skin color as beautiful or trashy is inappropriate.

Sande Alessi Casting did speak with TMZ saying the ad was an “innocent mistake” and that they are looking for all skin types in the “poor” or “D Girls” category. They did not mean to offend anyone.

Via The Frisky

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