“Dear White People” actor Jeremy Tardy, announced that he will not be returning for season 4 after accusing Lionsgate and Netflix of “racial discrimination.” He took to Twitter last Friday, Sept. 11, to detail his experience with the production company in regard to how much he was getting paid in comparison to his white colleagues.
In a thread of posts Tardy said, “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.”
The 29-year-old went on to tweet about a time where he and six other unnamed cast members came together to reject the initial offers presented to them by the production company. He then said that Lionsgate began offering deals to only a few individuals in the group, persuading some of them to take their “deals before the collective group received a fair and equitable negotiation process.”
In the next set of tweets, Tardy, calls out both Lionsgate and Netflix for participation in racial discrimination. He pointed out that these notable companies have sent “donations” and made “statements” in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement, but that they still continue to practice racial discrimination.
He continues, “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.”
He ended the thread with the words, “Lionsgate. Netflix. I see you. We see you.”
Netflix declined to comment and instead deferred all inquiries to Lionsgate.
A Lionsgate spokesperson gave a statement on the matter, to Entertainment Weekly, saying it was “a purely financial negotiation regarding deal terms.” “Lionsgate is committed to equal treatment for all talent regardless of race, gender, age or sexual orientation,”
They added, “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.”
Tardy plays Rashid Bakr on the popular Netflix series. His character is an African student who has just moved to the United States from Kenya to continue his education. Much like what Tardy is doing now with Lionsgate and Netflix, his character uses his voice to call out the racial injustice that Black people experience in America.