'Dear White People' Actor Jeremy Tardy Accuses Lionsgate Of Racial Discrimination, Won't Return For Season 4
Photo Credit: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 01: Jeremy Tardy attends Premiere Of Netflix's "Dear White People" Season 3 at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on August 01, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/FilmMagic)
Film

'Dear White People' Actor Jeremy Tardy Accuses Lionsgate Of Racial Discrimination, Won't Return For Season 4

Jeremy Tardy, a recurring cast member of Netflix’s Dear White People, revealed on social media that he wouldn’t be returning for the show’s fourth and final season. In the statement, he called out the show’s studio, Lionsgate, for racial discrimination in cast negotiations. Tardy recurred on the series as Rashid Bakr. This statement also called out Netflix as well.

He wrote in part, Unfortunately I will not be joining NETFLIX’s Dear White People for its fourth and final seasondue to my experience with Lionsgate and their practices of racial discrimination.”

The actor explained, After being offered to return for several episodes my team was notified that our counter offer would not be considered and that the initial offer was the ‘best and final.’ This news was disturbing because one of my white colleagues — being a true ally — revealed that they too had received the same initial offer and had successfully negotiated a counter offer. My team expressed this issue to Lionsgate and the producers maintained their position that the white actor was able to negotiate while I was not- regardless of my credits and experience.”

Tardy says that he and six other cast members banded together” to move as a unit in the process.” He added, 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. However, our collective bargaining power was undermined with side deal offers and lack of transparency. These tacticsled to some individuals taking deals before the collective group received a fair and equitable negotiation process.”

These companies have recently released statements and even donations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement,” he continued. “I am calling out their shameful practices of discrimination and racial inequality with regard to how they have historically undervalued and lowballed people of color.:

A statement from Lionsgate sent to Deadline reads, This was a purely financial negotiation regarding deal terms. Lionsgate is committed to equal treatment for all talent regardless of race, gender, age or sexual orientation. We are very proud of Dear White People and its place in the national conversation about racial equality and social justice and we look forward to beginning production on its 4th season.”

Furthermore, Deadline says, According to sources close to the production, the budget for Season 4 was increased significantly, with a portion of the increase earmarked for recurring cast members who all were offered raises. Some of them accepted, others held out for more money, a standard negotiating tactic. All offers were reportedly approved by series creator Justin Simien, with the negotiating window closing when he had to start writing the final season.”

Netflix has deferred to Lionsgate for comments in trade publications.

Read Tardy’s full statement below:

Tardy also starred as a series regular in the Paramount Network series, 68 Whiskey, which was canceled earlier this month after one season.

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Photo: Netflix 

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