The actor alleges unfair pay negotiations by Lionsgate in the announcement that he won’t be returning for the show’s final season
Jeremy Tardy, a recurring actor in Dear White People – the Netflix show that sparked a neo-Nazi boycott – has announced in a statement posted to Twitter that he won’t be returning for the series’ fourth and final season, due to his: “experience with Lionsgate and their practices of racial discrimination.”
The series of tweets also details the specific series of events that influenced Tardy’s departure, with the actor claiming he was treated unfairly amid pay negotiations with the studio. “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’,” he writes.
“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.”
“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.”
Tardy goes on to explain that this led six recurring cast members to “band together” on August 30 to pass on Lionsgate’s initial offers, adding: “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.” However, this negotiation process reportedly broke down after being “undermined with side deal offers and lack of transparency”.
As Tardy points out, companies such as Netflix and Lionsgate have recently released statements in support of the Black Lives Matter movement (as well as a collection of relevant films and TV shows, including Dear White People). However, he adds: “Politically correct lip service and symbolic gestures do not absolve you of the daily responsibility of doing business in a fair and equitable manner.”
According to Variety, a Lionsgate spokesperson has responded to the claims, calling the negotiation “purely financial” and adding: “Lionsgate is committed to equal treatment for all talent regardless of race, gender, age or sexual orientation.”
Read Jeremy Tardy’s statement in full in the thread below.
Unfortunately I will not be joining NETFLIX’s Dear White People for its fourth and final season— Jeremy Tardy (@Jeremy_Tardy) September 11, 2020
due to my experience with Lionsgate and their practices of racial discrimination.
After being offered to return for several episodes my team was notified that our counter offer would
The fact that this has occurred— Jeremy Tardy (@Jeremy_Tardy) September 11, 2020
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.