This week, casting agent James Scully blew the whistle on fellow casting directors who were allegedly mistreating models. He detailed how Maida Gregori Boina and Rami Fernandes had reportedly left 150 women waiting to be seen for a Balenciaga womenswear casting in a staircase with no light for three hours while they went for lunch. Balenciaga quickly axed the pair following Scully’s Instagram post.
In a statement to Business of Fashion, Maida Gregori Boina denied the allegations against her, describing Scully’s words as “inaccurate and libellous”.
She wrote in an email to BoF: “It is important to stop the spread of rumours and set the record straight. To directly address these accusations, the models did not wait for three hours in the dark, not even one hour. We personally ate our lunch in the casting facility and – without question – we did not lock the models in the stairwell and turn out the lights. That would be completely inhumane.
“Throughout the entire process, we provided the most comfortable accommodations allowable based on the facilities provided.”
Boina also said the electricity went out “for a period of time” on the Sunday evening. She explained that she was “saddened to be released from the casting without a discussion of what actually took place”, but applauded Balenciaga’s quick decision.
The casting agent, whose career spans over 20 years, added that she was concerned they had been “intentionally misrepresented… for personal career gain without substantiating the story.”
In Scully’s Instagram comments, dozens of models came forward to talk about the day, as well as other incidents involving Boina and Fernandes. Models including Julie Hoomans, Dilone, Leomie Anderson, Joan Smalls and supermodel Helena Christensen and Berluti boss Antoine Arnault all praised the move.
This confessional from Scully makes good on promises he made last year to name and shame any mistreatment, cruelty and discrimination he saw happening in the industry.
Read the full statement from Boina here.
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