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  • NAB being asked ethnicity in the room 03/19/2018  5:24pm

    Ummm someone asked my ethnicity in the room today and it put a bad taste in my mouth. Isn’t that illegal? I’m equity, white (look a little ethnic cuz I’m Greek but with blue eyes) and the part is for an Irish person. I know ethnicity is a sensitive subject at the moment and even looking the way I do I don’t go in for Evita or In the Heights but this part is Caucasian and I am Caucasian. *sigh*

    RidinBirdie

    If it was equity, absolutely report it.

    ‡‡‡ 03/19/2018  5:46pm

    100% illegal, not just at auditions, but at ANY job interview (which an audition pretty much is). Casting CANNOT ask you your ethnicity, age (beyond are you over 18), marital status, disability status, and a host of other questions. Definitely report whoever asked to Equity if it was at an EPA/ECC. It’s not an Equity rule, it’s a LAW.

    peter.pan 03/19/2018  6:25pm

    two words: inclusion rider.

    most offices are being pressured to cast poc in traditionally white roles rn. it sounds like an honest mistake.

    sheshadit 03/19/2018  7:11pm

    Totally illegal.

    One idea to smoothe out the moment, just in case it happens again: you can always say “I’m a mutt,” laugh, and leave it at that. (And then report them later.)

    cclpiglet 03/19/2018  8:32pm

    Why are you trying to have a moment right now? You aren’t biracial. You don’t have to hear those kinds of questions every.single.day. Go volunteer or do something better with your time that doesn’t involve victimizing yourself.

    confusedandbaffled 03/19/2018  8:44pm

    Everyone's allowed to have a "moment" on the Bitching Post. She doesn't have to feel bad about this just because she's Caucasian. It's an awkward, legally dubious question to be asked, no doubt!

    ThePineapplePrincess 03/19/2018  11:10pm

    Confusedandbaffled: The OP is trying to stop a theatre from a discriminatory, illegal practice. That is a positive thing for everyone. Their tone may have been light or wistful, but I don't think that means they're trying to hog our sympathy or anything -- they're hoping to STOP a BAD, RACIST thing.

    cclpiglet 03/19/2018  11:11pm

    The tone of someone's post not pleasing you is literally not an issue.

    No matter when or where it took place, it's illegal and must be reported.

    CompensatedPaperweight 03/20/2018  11:47am

    It is a super common myth that asking the question is illegal. Its not. What IS illegal is then not hiring you because of your ethnicity.
    www.askamanager.org

    Now, Equity may have an issue with it, I have no idea, you would need to ask them.

    IWBOB 03/20/2018  11:24pm

    Here’s the thing though - hundreds of people audition for shows that are only casting, say, a dozen people. What’s to stop someone who was asked their ethnicity and then not hired from suing casting? They have no way of proving that WASN’T a factor in their not being hired, since this is such a subjective business.

    peter.pan 03/21/2018  3:18pm

    PeterPan, absolutely, and really its not that different from regular jobs where you may have 100 applications for 1 opening. Obviously, most people are not going to sue just from that, but really, they could. Which is why most people who hire people do not ask these questions. But if they do, it doesn't mean they've done something illegal, it means you could theoretically sue if you don't get the part and claim it was due to race, and if you could find a lawyer and judge to take it on. Would any actor do that? Probably not, unless a theatre really got a reputation for avoiding people of a certain ethnic background and was known to question everyone about their ethnicity.

    IWBOB 03/21/2018  3:26pm

    Honest question here: how can theaters cast “correctly” if they’re not supposed to ask ethnicity? I’m mixed and I don’t enjoy the question either, but how will we solve the “correct casting” problem in any other way?

    FierceConversations 03/21/2018  3:37pm

    @Fierce the big debate right now (certainly on the bitching post!) is what constitutes "correct" casting. If you're Filipino and speak Spanish and you are the best person who comes in for a Hispanic character, a lot of people on this board would be angry if that person got cast, because it "isn't their story to tell." But if that person was great for the role and casting asked them their ethnicity, and upon learning that they only APPEARED Hispanic chose not to hire them for that reason.....illegal.

    So if "casting correctly" means only hiring actors who match the ethnicity of the characters, then no, there's no way to know without asking. If "casting correctly" means hiring actors who are the best fit to tell the story, regardless of their real life roots, then there's no reason to ask.

    ProfessorSnugglebutt 03/21/2018  4:57pm

    Unless we can resurrect Eva Peron herself from the grave and she’s suddenly a superb belter, we’ll never get a person to play Evita for whom this is unquestionably “her story to tell”.

    FierceConversations 03/21/2018  6:14pm