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'Ethnic' Actors Aren't Stealing White Roles: The Racist, Clueless Backlash To TV's Greatest Season Begins

EMPIRE: (L-R) Bryshere Gray, Trai Byers, Jussie Smollett, Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. The epic family battle begins
EMPIRE: (L-R) Bryshere Gray, Trai Byers, Jussie Smollett, Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. The epic family battle begins when the sexy and powerful new drama EMPIRE debuts, with limited commercial interruption, following AMERICAN IDOL XIV on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

Over at Deadline, Nellie Andreeva has a lengthy piece titled, alarmingly, “Pilots 2015: The Year Of Ethnic Castings—About Time Or Too Much Of Good Thing?” Oddly, that’s a question that has an extremely obvious answer (about time about time about time) but Andreeva devotes some hundreds of words to questioning, you know, diversity:

But, as is the case with any sea change, the pendulum may have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. 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. Many pilot characters this year were listed as open to all ethnicities but when reps would call to inquire about an actor submission, they frequently have been told that only non-Caucasian actors would be considered. “Basically 50% of the roles in a pilot have to be ethnic, and the mandate goes all the way down to guest parts,” one talent representative said.

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