Five days after Deadline ran a publicly ridiculed piece about whether or not “ethnic castings” in Hollywood were becoming “too much of a good thing,” the site’s editor has issued a formal apology. Mike Fleming Jr., in a Sunday column, wrote:
My co-editor-in-chief Nellie Andreeva’s goal was to convey that there was such an uptick of TV pilot casting of people of color that it pinched white actors who’ve historically gotten most of the jobs, and to question if this could last if it was being treated as a fad. All this was undermined by that headline (which we changed after the fact) and a repetition of the word “ethnic” that came off cold and insensitive.
The only appropriate way to view racial diversity in casting is to see it as a wonderful thing, and to hope that Hollywood continues to make room for people of color. The missteps were dealt with internally; we will do our best to make sure that kind of insensitivity doesn’t surface again here. As co-editors in chief, Nellie and I apologize deeply and sincerely to those who’ve been hurt by this. There is no excuse. It is important to us that Deadline readers know we understand why you felt betrayed, and that our hearts are heavy with regret. We will move forward determined to do better.
Despite the controversy and regret over the story’s original headline (which has since been tweaked to “Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings”), Fleming says he never considered taking it down. “I don’t believe you can can make an unwise story disappear and pretend it didn’t happen,” he wrote. “We decided to face the consequences and take our lumps.” Maybe next time Fleming will address the piece’s insensitivity to nonwhites beyond the headline, too.