Jeremy Tardy Dear White People, denied the accusations.
Jeremy Tardy has announced that he will not be returning to the popular Netflix show, Dear White People, following accusations of racial discrimination against production company Lionsgate.
On Friday, September 11, Jeremy, who played Rashid Mburu on the series, penned a series of tweets that chronicles the alleged events leading up to his departure from the show, where he was expected to return for its 4th season. The actor began by explaining, “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.’ This news was disturbing because one of my white colleagues — being a true ally — revealed that they too had received the same initial offer and had successfully negotiated a counter offer. 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.”
Jeremy continued, alleging that he and fellow co-stars attempted to present a united front to Lionsgate in a final attempt at negotiating. “With this information, six recurring cast members, along with myself, banded together on Monday, August 30th to pass on Lionsgate’s initial offers. 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. 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.”
However, Jeremy claimed that the actors’ collective bargaining power was “undermined with side deal offers and lack of transparency,” leading individuals to allegedly accept “deals before the collective group received a fair and equitable negotiation process.”
The actor also called out both Netflix and Lionsgate in light of their public support of the Black Lives Matter movement, stating, “Politically correct lip service and symbolic gestures do not absolve you of the daily responsibility of doing business in a fair and equitable manner. The fact that this has occurred behind the scenes of a show which purports to address systemic issues of racism and discrimination displays the very epitome of hypocrisy. Lionsgate. Netflix. I see you. We see you.”
Lionsgate issued a statement to Deadline on Friday in response to Jeremy’s tweets, saying: “This was a purely financial negotiation regarding deal terms. 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.” Jeremy has not yet responded to Lionsgate’s statement.