N.W.A Movie Casting Call Conflates Black Skin With Unattractiveness

Extras sought: "light-skinned" pretty girls, and "dark" women in "poor" shape

NWA Biopic Straight Outta Compton Racist Casting Call
A new casting call for the rap legends' biopic is a put off, to say the least N.W.A's 'Straight Outta Compton' (1988)
WRITTEN BY
Colin Stutz

Progress on long-awaited N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton marches ever forward, but the latest development in casting seems a bit backward to say the least. Last month, we got a peak at the actors who will play the rap legends, with the support of original members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, and now the filmmakers are recruiting extras as they start shooting. Only problem is, for a story as racially charged as N.W.A's one might have hoped the casting call would be a little less tactless and offensive.

As Gawker points out, Sande Allesi Casting posted this notice yesterday ranking potential incoming "girls" on an A-D scale that corresponds with descending "hotness." What's problematic is that while the "A" category accepts drop-dead gorgeous "classy" people of all colors, the B through D designations are very explicitly linked with skin-tone: as the women get less attractive, their flesh gets darker, with the lowest listing calling for "African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone."

SAG OR NON UNION CASTING NOTICE FOR FEMALES-ALL ETHNICITIES- from the late 80's. Shoots on "Straight Outta Compton". Shoot date TBD. We are pulling photos for the director of featured extras. VERY IMPORTANT – You MUST live in the Los Angeles area (Orange County is fine too) to work on this show. DO NOT SUBMIT if you live out of the area. Nobody is going to be flying into LA to do extra work on this show - and don't tell me you are willing to fly in.

SAG OR NON UNION FEMALES - PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR SPECIFIC BREAKDOWN. DO NOT EMAIL IN FOR MORE THAN ONE CATEGORY:

A GIRLS: These are the hottest of the hottest. Models. MUST have real hair - no extensions, very classy looking, great bodies. You can be black, white, asian, hispanic, mid eastern, or mixed race too. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: A GIRLS

B GIRLS: These are fine girls, long natural hair, really nice bodies. Small waists, nice hips. You should be light-skinned. Beyonce is a prototype here. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: B GIRLS

C GIRLS: These are African American girls, medium to light skinned with a weave. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: C GIRLS

D GIRLS: These are African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone. Character types. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: SandeAlessiCasting@gmail.com subject line should read: D GIRLS

Defenders in the Gawker comments section online have said this sort of thing is typical of Hollywood castings (and certainly casting by skin tone is nothing new), but it's not clear whether that reasoning is an appropriate excuse or further explanation of a larger problem. And someone should've been a little more mindful considering the subject matter. After all, N.W.A had a few things to say about racism:

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