Sometimes it takes diversity fetishists a little bit of time and embarrassing press coverage to realize they need to at least technically follow anti-discrimination laws just like everybody else.
In 2014, BuzzFeed announced its investigative fellowship program for “journalists of color” only. But following items by The Mirror doyenne Betsy Rothstein and this reporter, who volunteered to join a tanning salon so he would qualify, Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, clearly fearful of a reverse discrimination lawsuit, opened the program to journalists of color and “other diverse backgrounds.”
Now, the producers of Hamilton are walking back their clearly illegal casting call for non-white actors only. Federal, state and local laws prohibit even expressing a discriminatory preference in employment advertisements.
Witness the show’s new policy: only non-whites are qualified but whites are welcome to audition for roles they are clearly not going to get.
“It is essential to the storytelling of “Hamilton” that the principal roles — which were written for non-white characters (excepting King George) — be performed by non-white actors,” the producers said Thursday. “This adheres to the accepted practice that certain characteristics in certain roles constitute a ‘bona fide occupational qualification’ that is legal. This also follows in the tradition of many shows that call for race, ethnicity or age specific casting, whether it’s ‘The Color Purple’ or ‘Porgy & Bess’ or ‘Matilda.’ The casting will be amended to also include language we neglected to add, that is, we welcome people of all ethnicities to audition for ‘Hamilton.’”
It sounds like this policy was crafted to avoid lawsuits but still maintain the cast’s racial purity.
Employment discrimination is allowed for BQEs — like only hiring women attendants for female locker rooms. Hamilton insists white actors are incapable of performing roles clearly intended for blacks and minorities only.
So there you have it: The Olympic gold medalist formerly known as Bruce Jenner is qualified to be the 2015 Glamour magazine woman of the year even though “she” still has male plumbing.
But whites are not capable of playing ghettoized white historical figures in “Hamilton?”