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Actor Jeremy Tardy has left the Netflix show “Dear White People” due to alleged “racial discrimination.”
In a lengthy Twitter announcement on Friday, Tardy said that he will not be returning for the show’s fourth and final season due to alleged practices of racial discrimination at Lionsgate — a complaint stemming from what he says is unfair pay.
“Unfortunately I will not be joining NETFLIX’s Dear White People for its fourth and final season due to my experience with Lionsgate and their practices of racial discrimination,” wrote Tardy. “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.’ The news was disturbing because one of my white colleagues – being a true ally – revealed they too had received the same initial offer and had successfully negotiated a counter offer.”
According to Tardy, when his team expressed the discrepancy to Lionsgate, the company rejected his attempts at negotiation.
“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,” he said. “With this information six recurring cast members, along with myself, banded together on Monday, August 30th to pass on Lionsgate’s initial offers.”
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Despite the collective bargaining arrangement, Lionsgate allegedly undermined their negotiation positions with “side deal offers” and other tactics.
“However, our collective bargaining power was undermined with side deal offers and lack of transparency,” he said. “These tactics led to some individuals taking deals before the collective group received a fair and equitable negotiation process.”
Beyond the pay discrepancies, Tardy felt that since these companies have all expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement it was the height of hypocrisy to deny fair and equal pay to people of color, especially on a show that deals with systemic racism.
“These companies have recently released statements and even donations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement,” he said. “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. Politically correct lip service and symbolic gestures do not absolve you of the daily responsibility of doing business in a fair and equitable manner.”
“The fact that this has occurred behind the scenes of a show which purports to address systemic issues of racism and discrimination displays the very epitome of hypocrisy. Lionsgate. Netflix. I see you. We see you,” he concluded.
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
— Jeremy Tardy (@Jeremy_Tardy) September 11, 2020
Over the weekend, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick criticized the NFL for giving lip-service to social justice while doing nothing internally to resolve racial discrimination.
“While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) for fighting for the Black community. Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league,” Kaepernick tweeted.