"Dear White People" : Pay Black Actors Fairly

September 13, 2020

Hollywood's long standing racial bias issue continues to run rampant. Netflix’s Dear White People, a show whose original focus was on bridging the educational gap between races on a college campus, is now being accused of racial bias by one of their recurring actors. In a Facebook post, Actor Jeremy Tardy, announced that he would not be returning to the show for its fourth and final season citing his racially discriminatory experiences with Lionsgate.

It’s been statistically proven that in addition to the wage gap amongst genders, there is a pretty prevalent one between races as well. On average, a Black man earns about .87 cents to the white man's dollar. Like everyone else, actors' salaries are very dependent on the work that they do, if they aren’t starring in popular movies or shows then they're not making money. In the time period that we’re in now, streaming services are where the big bucks are. Being able to solidify a recurring role with one of the most popular Netflix Originals to date is a big deal that should be compensating appropriately. According to Jeremy Tardy, the Lionsgate team refused to negotiate his counteroffer and stated that the offer was the best and final one they could give him. This decision came as a shock to Tardy seeing as another actor on the show revealed to him that they received the same offer but was allowed to counter successfully. 

 

 

Tardy and 6 other recurring Dear White People actors banded together on August 31st to collectively pass on Lionsgate's offer.

 

“Our stance was to move powerfully as a unit in the negotiation process and, more importantly,

to stand on principle because this is not simply a monetary matter. We were all aware of the notorious pay disparities between people of color and our white colleagues on Netflix and Lionsgate shows; so this made it blatantly obvious"

Jeremy Tardy

Lionsgate maintains that this is a “purely financial negotiation” and there isn’t any racial discrimination at play. 


 

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