KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — A New York based casting agency, Paladino Casting — was forced to apologise after it was called out for an advertisement deemed racist.
According to the casting notice, it was looking for Asians who are not “monolid”, have a “clean, white and pinky” skin without “dots or circles” on their faces.
Other requirements included for Chinese or Korean woman with a child or children with “almond-shaped eyes, not too down-turned or monolid”.
The chosen actors, to be paid US$500 (RM2,074), will be featured in a Kinder Joy commercial that will start shooting on Oct 17.
In its apology, the agency said the notice was from a client.
“Posting this as received without pushing back against the language it contained was an inexcusable oversight by all of us here.
“I sincerely apologise to our community of actors for the fact that this was released as it was received,” agency owner Kristen Paladino wrote in the statement that was shared through their Twitter account Paladino Casting.
— Paladino Casting (@PaladinoCasting) October 10, 2020
The casting call became viral after actor and UNICEF Canada ambassador Simu Liu called out the agency in a tweet.
Dear Paladino Casting,
A Proudly-Monolidded Asian pic.twitter.com/x0ifCM2ptq
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) October 10, 2020
Monolids are typically a facial feature of East Asian people.
Twitter user Sophie asked the agency what they really wanted.
“A white-passing Asian child or as close to that as you can get,” she tweeted before ending her tweet with hashtag #RepresentationMatters.
“Clean, white and pinky. No dots or circles.”
— Sophie (@sophgordon) October 10, 2020
American actress Rosalind Chao also joined in the fray and described the casting notice as shocking.
To the woman they cast, I will pay u $500 to NOT do the gig. U and your children’s integrity, self-worth and identity are invaluable. This breakdown is despicable. And to @PaladinoCasting, & the advertisers, did it taste good when this piece of shit came out of your mouth?!🖕🏽🖕🏽🖕🏽 pic.twitter.com/RshrSMd5mf
— Rodney To (@RodRedRod) October 10, 2020