A white entertainer is suing for racial prejudice.
For many years, aspiring black actors and actresses had the deck substantially stacked against them. And one thing I’ve noticed about America is that we’re good at re-stacking decks.
To use another metaphor, we’re not slow to grab the pendulum and swing it up to the sky. Might the culture have radically tick-tocked? Yes — just watch TikTok.
And where racial casting in Hollywood is concerned, there’s been a clear change.
These days, TV and film are sticking it to the man. Performers who may have once found it difficult to get jobs now find themselves in the right place and time. A quick perusal of commercials reveals a departure from ways of yore: If four couples are presented, each might be bi-racial, and one may be gay. You might well glimpse a lone Caucasian, and don’t doubt the chance of transgenderism entering the frame.
Thanks to our evolution, there’s a statistical switcheroo: If you’re a Person of the Pale, your chance of snagging a role pales in comparison to 1986.
Anecdotally, I’ve heard it from Tinsletown tenants: The production breakdown indicates a search for “anything not white” to fill a given role.
So goes a director’s vision — or the aim of diversity officers.
And amid entertainment’s melanin makeover comes the story of comedian Tyler Fischer. As reported by the New York Post, the 35-year-old was searching for a talent manager in 2020 when he connected with Manhattan’s AGI Entertainment Media & Management. The firm boasts some sizable names — journalist Natalie Morales, Big Brother host Julie Chen, and comedian Colin Quin among them.
“[AGI assistant Alex Brizel] said, ‘Would you want to audition for Curb Your Enthusiasm? All these shows that I love, and so it sounded like they wanted to work with [me],” Fischer told The Post.
Tyler was tickled pink. But that very hue may have been his undoing:
Months went by and nothing happened, said Fischer, who said he was “kind of just waiting by the phone.”
“I was ready to sign the papers…and that’s when the conversation took a turn.”
[Alex] said, “‘We love you. Everyone here loves you and thinks you’re a star, but we’re not taking you because you’re white.’ And that’s when my stomach dropped,” alleged Fischer, who is now suing the company for discrimination in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
It’s not drastically difficult to believe. After all, society’s making a monstrous statement where color is concerned:
Back to podcaster Tyler — who’s appeared on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and has 146,000 YouTube followers — he claims he recorded at least part of the phone call with AGI.
“I think I said something like, ‘So you guys like me, you want to work with me, you know I’ve got what it takes, but the only reason is because I’m white?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’”
As the lawsuit lingers, he insists he won’t settle:
I'm currently suing a talent manager who told me they won't work with me because I'm a white man. They just asked how much money I want to settle out of court. UPDATE: I will not settle. I will take this all the way even if I don't get a dime. This "justified" racism must end.
— Tyler Fischer (@TyTheFisch) May 17, 2022
He also asserts others have shared similar stories:
“I have endless people reaching out to me privately, saying, ‘This happened to me. I’m too afraid to speak out.’ I had an acting agent reach out the other day who said, ‘You have no idea how bad it is. They’re not hiding it.'”
From Tyler’s attorney, Lawrence Spasojevich:
“Mr. Fischer’s lawsuit seeks to enforce the idea that individuals should be judged by their qualifications; not by their race, their sex, their gender identity, their religion, or any other innate characteristic. That idea needs to apply to everyone equally or else it loses its legitimacy.”
Meanwhile, the suit seeks unspecified damages.
“I’m hoping this can draw some attention to getting back to why are we putting race and gender and pronouns and all this before who’s qualified for the job,” the actor offers.
Meanwhile, talent agencies and theatrical productions are going to choose whoever they want, for whatever reason they wish.
Stay tuned for more — not just from Tyler, but from a world in phenomenal flux.
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