Dear White People actor quits show after accusing Netflix of racial discrimination

14 September 2020, 15:38

By Sophie Thompson

Dear White People actor Jeremy Tardy has quit the Netflix show over a pay dispute and racial discrimination involving production company Lionsgate.

Star of Netflix's political-comedy show Dear White People, Jeremy Tardy, has quit over a pay dispute, along with reports of racial discrimination.

The actor, known for playing Rashid Mburu, announced he was leaving before the fourth season in a series of tweets.

The news came after behind-the-scenes negotiations about pay with production company Lionsgate, and Rashid's white co-stars being able to negotiate their own deals while he was told his initial offer was 'best and final'.

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Jeremy played the role of Rashid Bakr in the series.
Jeremy played the role of Rashid Bakr in the series. Picture: Jim Spellman/Getty Images/Netflix

He also added that he and his costars had banded together to take a stand against Lionsgate and prove that it was more than just about money.

"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," he said.

“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.”

Jeremy's message was particularly powerful, after Netflix recently showed its support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and vowed to make the platform a better space for black creators.

Read the thread here...

It has also come to light that despite forming an allyship with six co-stars, deals were negotiated behind closed doors with a "lack of transparency", and some of the cast allegedly accepted "deals before the collective group received a fair and equitable negotiation process."

Jeremy played Kenyan college student Rashid over 11 episodes in the show. The series takes place at a fictional Ivy League college and addresses issues around race and politics today. The show is due to release its fourth and final season next year, but this could certainly throw things off track.

Netflix have declined requests for comment on the situation.

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