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Attorney Slams 'Hamilton' Casting Call for "Non-White" Actors

Civil Rights Attorney calls Hamilton casting call for "non-white" actors a human rights violation.

Hamilton is praised for its bold casting choices and using ethnically diverse actors to play the mainly white Founding Fathers - a casting decision that has place Hamilton as one of the most talked about Broadway shows in the world. However, one civil rights attorney says their latest casting call may have gone too far. According to a CBS News report, the attorney, Randolph McLaughlin of the Newman Ferrara Law Firm slammed a recent casting notice specifying that the show was seeking "non-white" performers. He said the notice may violate the New York City Human Rights Law that forbids discrimination in hiring based on race. But, it begs the question - are any casting calls seeking race specific men and women for a role a violation of Human Rights Laws? For instance, many movies and TV shows say they are looking for a White male between the ages of 20 to 50 to play a certain role. Would that casting call be a violation of the New York City Human Rights law that outlaws discrimination based on race? And if a legal complaint was filed this would change the way casting directors cast actors for their TV shows, movies and Broadway productions. No specific legal complaint has been filed against the show with the New York Commission on Human rights at the time. But McLaughlin told CBS, “What if they put an ad out that said, ‘Whites only need apply? Why, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians would be outraged.” CBS quoted a show press rep saying the wording has been approved by Actors Equity Association, the actors union for theater performers, but the union's general counsel later denied that. From Playbill.com:

“The Hamilton call on their website is inconsistent with Equity's policy. All of our calls have the following language: ‘Performers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to attend.’ We also have strong language in our Production Contract agreement which states, ‘The parties hereto affirm their commitment to the policy that employment hereunder shall be without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression or political persuasion or belief. Consistent with the foregoing and with the procedure set forth in Rule 5(E)(4), it is the intention of the parties that the casting of productions will be conducted in a manner which provides equal and fair consideration to all Actors including, but not limited to: Actors with disabilities, ethnic minorities, seniors and women.’”

If you are still interested in auditioning for a role in Hamilton, you can check out the latest casting calls here

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