Jeremy Tardy took to Facebook on Friday (September 11) to announce he would not be returning for his recurring role on Netflix’s Dear White People, charging the program producers with racial discrimination.
In the lengthy post, Tardy accused Lionsgate-TV, who produces the program, of making him an offer to return for several episodes, but failing to consider a counteroffer, among other things.
“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,” he wrote.
Tardy says that he and six other castmates banned together in order to collectively control negotiations, however the plan backfired when some of the members started making side deals with the studio. As a result, Tardy was written off the series, he claims.
As a result, Tardy questioned Lionsgate and Netflix’s commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement and one of the central conceits of Dear White People, which focuses on racial injustice.
“These companies have recently released statements and even donations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement,” he wrote in his Facebook post. “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.”
Tardy continues: “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.”
Lionsgate has since addressed Tardy’s accusations in a statement, and denies that racism played any part in contract negotiations.
“This was a purely financial negotiation regarding deal terms,” the company tells Deadline. “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.”
Read Jeremy Tardy’s Facebook post below:
Photo: Matthew Simmons/Getty Images