Late Tuesday night, Deadline.com published a story that ignited the Internet. Titled "Pilots 2015: The Year Of Ethnic Castings –- About Time Or Too Much Of Good Thing?" Nellie Andreeva's take on the year's uptick in diversity on television claimed that more parts for "ethnic actors" lessened the available roles for white actors. She cited shows like "How To Get Away With Murder," "Black-ish," "Empire," "Jane The Virgin" and "Fresh Off The Boat" as examples, and quoted anonymous industry insiders as being frustrated with studio execs' decisions to "fulfill the ethnic quota" during pilot season.
Needless to say, critics, writers and fans were quick to criticize the article and Andreeva's claim that "the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction." Shonda Rhimes called it "ignorant."
1st Reaction:: HELL NO. Lemme take off my earrings, somebody hold my purse!
2nd Reaction: Article is so ignorant I can't even be bothered.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) March 25, 2015
Maureen Ryan, TV critic for The Huffington Post, was similarly exasperated.
Horrible Deadline article, you've left me no choice. I must go FULL FACEPALM, from ALL of Star Trek! Happy now??! pic.twitter.com/HC3FEY5CTW
— Mo Ryan (@moryan) March 25, 2015
Salon's TV critic Sonia Saraiya challenged Deadline.com in her own response:
Most alarming is Andreeva’s reductive implication that more roles for “ethnic” actors isn’t “fair” to white actors. Agents and casting directors that have long benefited from the incredible, overwhelming whiteness of Hollywood casting insert sly comments in her piece lamenting unfairness—if roles can’t be designated white (which they usually are, still, despite the existence of “Empire” and “Black-ish” and “Scandal,” because there is a lot of television in Hollywood) then shouldn’t we be “fair” and make them colorblind? I mean, if we’re going to be fair, and promote diversity, then shouldn’t we not ask about race at all?
Other prominent media members also weighed in:
Hey look the grossest possible reaction to a breakthrough TV year: http://t.co/uwWvnQF8Jb
— emilynussbaum (@emilynussbaum) March 25, 2015
— Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) March 25, 2015
Tomorrow on Deadline Hollywood: "Enough Funny Jews, Already!"
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) March 25, 2015
Things to do before going to bed: 1) Finish reading seemingly 950,000-word Deadline article. 2) Stab eyeballs with fork.
— Stephanie Zacharek (@szacharek) March 25, 2015
What troubles me is the decision-makers in Hollywood who will read that @Deadline tripe about black actors in television and say, "Exactly."
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 25, 2015
.@Deadline You are literally creating the problem when you label TV a white person's medium and suggest non-whites are a trend.
— Matt Wallace (@MattFnWallace) March 25, 2015
But let's leave the last word to "Selma" director Ava DuVernay, who will direct and executive produce a forthcoming pilot for CBS called "For Justice":
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) March 25, 2015