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How an (Allegedly) Racist Casting Call Nearly Ended 'Straight Outta Compton'

A resurfaced casting call shows the behind the scenes controversy surrounding the N.W.A. biopic 'Straight Outta Compton'

It's no lie that Universal Pictures has been hard at work on the upcoming movie 'Straight Outta Compton,' an N.W.A. biopic set for release this month. And while the flick has already drawn a wide range of criticism and controversy, the project stayed course, thanks to support from former N.W.A. members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre along wiht Tomica Woods-Wright, the widow of fellow N.W.A. rapper Eazy-E. However, we were reminded of the controversy that surrounded this movie when an old casting call resurfaced online. In the offensive casting call shared via Facebook by the former Sande Alessi Casting director Kristan Berona, the casting company made a call for "light-skinned,” girls with “long natural hair.” Think Beyonce they continued. The casting call continued to list requirements under a, b, c … and it only got more offensive. Check out the post below:
SAG OR NON UNION CASTING NOTICE FOR FEMALES-ALL ETHNICITIES- from the late 80’s. Shoots on “Straight Outta Compton”. Shoot date TBD. We are pulling photos for the director of featured extras. VERY IMPORTANT – You MUST live in the Los Angeles area (Orange County is fine too) to work on this show. DO NOT SUBMIT if you live out of the area. Nobody is going to be flying into LA to do extra work on this show – and don’t tell me you are willing to fly in. SAG OR NON UNION FEMALES – PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR SPECIFIC BREAKDOWN. DO NOT EMAIL IN FOR MORE THAN ONE CATEGORY: A GIRLS: These are the hottest of the hottest. Models. MUST have real hair – no extensions, very classy looking, great bodies. You can be black, white, Asian, Hispanic, mid eastern, or mixed race too. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: subject line should read: A GIRLS B GIRLS: These are fine girls, long natural hair, really nice bodies. Small waists, nice hips. You should be light-skinned. Beyonce is a prototype here. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to: subject line should read: B GIRLS C GIRLS: These are African American girls, medium to light skinned with a weave. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to:  subject line should read: C GIRLS D GIRLS: These are African American girls. Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone. Character types. Age 18-30. Please email a current color photo, your name, Union status, height/weight, age, city in which you live and phone number to:subject line should read: D GIRLS
Women that were not black, mixed, Hispanic or Asian were considered A girls or hot. While, women that were "medium to dark skin tone" were considered to be the ugly and poor. Although the original Facebook post has since been removed, N.W.A. would later find another extras casting company to hire extras for the production. According to TMZ, the casting director would later issue an apology.
But we spoke with a rep for Sande Alessi Casting who tells us ... the ad was an "innocent mistake" -- and when it comes to casting the "poor" people, they're also looking for women of various skin tones and body types. As for people who claim the A,B,C,D grouping system was racist -- Sande Alessi Casting says it's the usual method they use to look for different types of people for any project and it wasn't meant to offend anyone.
But, this is not the only piece of controversy surrounding the N.W.A biopic, In June, MC Ren took to Twitter to voice his displeasure at the lack of exposure his character has in the 'Straight Outta Compton' trailer, saying "Man **** these b***es at universal pictures leaving me out the movie trailers tryin to rewrite history." and "When you have b***hes work on a hip hop film that don't know **** about hip hop this is what happens. How the hell u leave me out after all". In addition, hip-hop mogul, Suge Knight was arrested for murder after running over two individuals following an altercation on set of 'Straight Outta Compton'. But, all that controversy may be helping the already controversial rap group. Currently, 'Straight Outta Compton' has received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a rating of 90%, based on 10 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10.