Lionsgate are in hot water after Dear White People star Jeremy Tardy accused the company of “racial discrimination” during wage negotiations.
Actor Jeremy Tardy has announced that he will not be returning to his role on Dear White People due to experiences with racial discrimination during production. The star’s announcement comes just as the Netflix original series announced production on its fourth and final season.
Since the show’s 2017 debut, Dear White People has been acclaimed for its realistic and confronting depictions of racism in our modern world. On a statement posted to Twitter, Tardy stated he would not be returning due to his “experience with Lionsgate and their practices of racial discrimination.”
In a series of tweets, Tardy details his experience with Lionsgate, claiming that he was treated unfairly during pay negotiations with the studio. “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 counteroffer,” the actor writes.
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.
After being offered to return for several episodes my team was notified that our counter offer would
— Jeremy Tardy (@Jeremy_Tardy) September 11, 2020
Tardy also highlights the alleged hypocrisy of both Netflix and Lionsgate, stating that both companies have recently released statements and made donations in support of Black Lives Matter. “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 actor writes.
I’m so glad you didn’t agree to undervalue your work. Perhaps, this is the rightful ending to the series—a reality slap. A glaring example of power-tripping against blacks. Please do not waver, Sir. We will continue supporting you ✨
— shan (@seanshano) September 12, 2020
According to Variety, a spokesperson for Lionsgate responded to Tardy’s allegations, stating that it “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,” they write.
You can check out Tardy’s full Twitter thread here.
The main characters last name is White and she runs a radio show where she calls her listeners White People. It’s a joke. But it’s also meant to show that people will judge the show for its name, instantly starting the conversation of why it makes them uncomfortable. It’s smart.
— HoneyVulture (@TheHoneyVulture) September 12, 2020