Yesha Callahan

Deadline Issues “Apology” Over “Ethnic Casting”


Another day, another half-assed apology. This time from the editor of Deadline. Last week, Deadline’s tv writer wrote a scathing article about her issues with the over abundance of ethnic actors in the upcoming pilot season. Sure, she was happy to see diversity, but it was just too much diversity.

Nellie Andreeva’s article, titled, “Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings—About Time or Too Much of Good Thing?” received backlash online and prompted another editor to issue his version of an apology.

Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. stated:

“I don’t believe you can can make an unwise story disappear and pretend it didn’t happen. I observed how Amy Pascal raced around with knee-jerk apologies to anyone who’d listen, after those stolen Sony e-mails surfaced. Her actions felt like panicked damage control to me; we decided to face the consequences and take our lumps. We did that in the comment tail following that story, where over 700 readers teed off on us,” Fleming said.

“That original headline does not reflect the collective sensibility here at Deadline. 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,” Fleming continued.

Notice he wrote the ‘original’ headline. Not the contents of the article. It was the assertion that too much diversity was on television that people took issue with. And no where in his ‘apology’ was any mention of that.

It’s a shame that in 2015, people still have not figured out how to construct an apology.

  1. March 31, 2015 - Reply

    In diplomacy and international law, there is a big difference between an apology and a statement of regret. An apology is an admission of wrong doing, therefore an admission of culpability and liability. A statement of regret recognizes suffering or difficulty, but does say that the action taken was wrong or illegal. Any payment is not binding, it is simply a recognition of a difficult outcome.

    Most of what are called apologies in the popular media would be called statements of regret in more formal contexts.

  2. April 1, 2015 - Reply

    “Another day, another half-assed apology.”
    Best. Lead. Ever.

  3. April 1, 2015 - Reply

    Sorry not sorry.

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