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Deadline editor apologizes for controversial diversity in casting article

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Chuck Hodes/Fox

Last week, Deadline co-editor-in-chief Nellie Andreeva wrote an article suggesting that diversity in television casting is “too much of a good thing.”

Following backlash from organizations like American Indians in Film and Television, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Asian Pacific America Media Coalition, and NAACP Hollywood Bureau, as well as Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes, Community writer Dan Harmon and comedian Billy Eichner, Deadline editor Mike Fleming Jr. apologized on Sunday for upsetting readers, for the story’s headline (“Pilots 2105: The Year of Ethnic Castings—About Time or Too Much of a Good Thing?”), and for its insensitive use of the word “ethnic.” 

“Nellie and I apologize deeply and sincerely to those who’ve been hurt by this. There is no excuse,” Fleming says in his column with Variety‘s Peter Bart. “It is important to us that Deadline readers know we understand why you felt betrayed, and that our hearts are heavy with regret. We will move forward determined to do better.”

Fleming points out that the article’s initial headline has been changed to “Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings,” as the original “does not reflect the collective sensibility here at Deadline.”

“The only appropriate way to view racial diversity in casting is to see it as a wonderful thing, and to hope that Hollywood continues to make room for people of color,” Fleming adds.

Still, Fleming defends Andreeva, saying she meant to “convey that there was such an uptick of TV pilot casting of people of color that it pinched white actors who’ve historically gotten most of the jobs, and to question if this could last if it was being treated as a fad.”

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