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'Dear White People' Star Jeremy Tardy Leaving Show After Accusing Lionsgate of Racial Discrimination

'Dear White People' Star Jeremy Tardy Leaving Show After Accusing Lionsgate of Racial Discrimination

Jeremy Tardy will be leaving Dear White People ahead of its fourth and final season, the star announced on social media.

The 29-year-old actor, who was recurring as Rashid Bakr on the show, revealed that his reason for not returning is due to racial discrimination.

While he accused them of the discrimination, Lionsgate, who produces the series, says it was nothing more than a financial situation.

Jeremy, alongside six other recurring cast members, banded together to get a pay raise and collectively passed on the initial offer in an effort to negotiate better deals as a group.

However, the strategy backfired when a few of them made side deals with the studio “before the collective group received a fair and equitable negotiation process.”

This resulted in Jeremy being written out of the show.

“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,” Jeremy wrote to his fans on Twitter.

He continued, “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.”

Click inside to see his full thread about the situation here…

“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.”

Lionsgate responded to Jeremy‘s claims, via Deadline. See their statement below:

“This was a purely financial negotiation regarding deal terms,” the company shared. “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.”

Dear White People isn’t the only Netflix show ending this year. See the full list here…

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Jeremy Tardy

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