Jeremy Tardy took to the streets of Twitter and announced he would not be returning to the hit Netflix series, “Dear White People,” due to racial discrimination in regards to his pay.
In a series of tweets Jeremy called out Lionsgate and Netflix for turning down his counter offer to return for the fourth and final season of the show, but they successfully accepted the counter offer of his white cast mate.
Jeremy Tardy went on to share how the black actors on the show came together as a unit during the negotiation process.
But, that was short-lived and their bargaining power was “undermined” with side deals and a lack of transparency.
Read Jeremy’s full statement below:
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.
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.
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, our collective bargaining power was undermined with side deal offers and lack of transparency. These tactics
led to some individuals taking deals before the collective group received a fair and equitable negotiation process.
These companies have recently released statements and even donations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. 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.
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.
It’s so unfortunate that this happened to Jeremy Tardy, but I appreciate for ringing the alarm on the tomfoolery.