Dear White People actor Jeremy Tardy announced this week that he will not be returning for the show’s fourth and final season. He explains his decision by citing the alleged racial discrimination he said he faced with Lionsgate in regards to contract negotiations for the Netflix series.
“Unfortunately I will not be joining NETFLIX’s Dear White People for its fourth and final season due to my experience with Lionsgate and their practices of racial discrimination,” Tardy tweeted. “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.
He continued, “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. With this information six recurring cast members, along with myself, banded together on Monday, August 30th to pass on Lionsgate’s initial offers. 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.”
Tardy went on to explain that one of his colleagues was also offered a rate that they believed was too low, but they were able to negotiate it higher.
He concluded his statement by saying, “The fact that this has occurred 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.”
Lionsgate addressed Tardy’s accusations in a statement, saying the following:
“This was a purely financial negotiation regarding deal terms,” the company told Deadline. “Lionsgate is committed to equal treatment for all talent regardless of race, gender, age or sexual orientation. 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.”