‘Dear White People’ actor Jeremy Tardy leaves show, claims ‘racial discrimination’

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Actor Jeremy Tardy announced he is departing the Netflix show “Dear White People” because of alleged “discrimination and racial inequality.”

The 29-year-old black actor who appeared in the show’s first three seasons went public with his decision on Twitter where he accused Lionsgate, which produces the show, of practicing “racial discrimination.” He detailed in a series of tweets the salary negotiations that apparently did not go as he wanted, slamming the company and Netflix for hypocrisy because of their vocal support of Black Lives Matter.

(Image: YouTube/Mingle Media screenshot)

“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,” Tardy wrote in the tweet Friday. “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.'”

The actor, who played Kenyan college student Rashid Bakr on the Netflix show, found the company’s decision “disturbing,” citing one of his white co-stars, whom he referred to as a “true ally,” revealed to him that although he was given the same initial offering, he “successfully negotiated a counteroffer” with Lionsgate.

“My team expressed this issue to Lionsgate and the producers maintained their position that the white actor was able to negotiate while I was not- regardless of my credits and experience,” Tardy continued. “With this information six recurring cast members, along with myself, banded together on Monday, August 30th.”

He went on to claim that the dispute was not over money necessarily but that it was “blatantly obvious” that it was another example of the alleged “notorious pay disparities” between stars of different races.

“Our stance was to move powerfully as a unit in the negotiation process and, more importantly, to stand on principle because this is not simply a monetary matter,” he wrote. “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.”

Tardy claimed the negotiations did not work out for him as there were “side deal offers and lack of transparency,”  noting how some members of the group ended up “taking deals” before everyone had received a “fair and equitable negotiation.”

“These companies have recently released statements and even donations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement,” he continued.

“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 declared, proving again that companies pandering to pressures by the left can quickly become targets as well.

He concluded his message with a direct finger-pointing at Lionsgate and Netflix for the “epitome of hypocrisy.”

While Netflix reportedly declined to comment, the company was “deferring to Lionsgate” on the situation, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Lionsgate, however, did issue a statement to the outlet refuting the claims.

“This was a purely financial negotiation regarding deal terms,” the statement read. “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.”

While those supporting Tardy’s stand against the alleged discrimination applauded him on Twitter, many others called out the actor for his tantrum while using the race card.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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