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Reaction To Deadline’s “Ethnic Casting” Story As Told By Memes

Cookie Lyon's advice to the writer: " You not bout that life."

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On Wednesday afternoon, Nellie Andeereva, Deadline's TV Editor, took it upon herself to write an article about how TV progamming has become alarming ethnic, providing some color to your color-capable TV screens since the 40s and 50s. So, I wrote this.

Then, following the success of freshman series How To Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, Fresh Off The Boat, Jane the Virgin and especially Empire, which launched to huge ratings at the kickoff of pilot casting season, ethnic castings exploded this season.

But, as is the case with any sea change, the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction.

madamenoire.com / Via cdn.madamenoire.com

"Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal."

Because of the sudden flood of roles for ethnic actors after years of suppressed opportunities for them, the talent pool of experienced minority performers — especially in the younger range — is pretty limited.

Some of it has been organic. Last year, the leads in Extant and How To Get Away With Murder, originally not written as black, became ethnic once stars of the caliber of Halle Berry and Viola Davis became interested.

The TV and film superhero ranks have been overly white for too long, workplace shows should be diverse to reflect workplace in real America, and ethnic actors should get a chance to play more than the proverbial best friend or boss.

Television has been successful with shows that had both all-white (Friends, Seinfeld) and all-black (The Cosby Show) casts on the strength of their premise, execution and talent performances and chemistry.

Fox / Via fox.com

"It is for the same reason that Scandal, HTGAWM and Empire have done so well with Kerry Washington, Davis and Taraji P. Henson as the respective leads."

Trying to duplicate those series’ success by mirroring the ethnicity of their leads is a dubious proposition — if that was the key, 2010’s Undercovers, a slick drama with two appealing black leads, Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, should’ve been a hit.

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