While it’s not surprising, it’s still extremely disappointing to hear stories of black women being discriminated against for the very same things society tells us we should “embrace” and “love ourselves” for. Amongst many amazing things, the color of our skin, our natural hair, and poise are what makes us beautiful, so it’s hard to understand why a group of black women would be turned away from a casting call and told that black models were not wanted and afros were a “no-no.”
Joia Talbott and Kacey Leggett were among several other black women who were turned away from a recent casting call for KYA Swim. The two shared a video on social media that has since gone viral, recalling their experience for the Miami Swim Week event. “They told us they didn’t want any Black models and Afros were a no-no,” said Talbott.
The models said they were waiting in line for the casting for KYA Swim when they were told it had ended. However, after 10 to 15 black women proceeded to leave, they said the casting was opened back up for the fairer-skin women.
KYA Swim states that they “deeply disturbed” by what has taken place and are investigating. “KYA Swim is proud of its record of diversity and we are the midst of looking into the events of last Thursday to review the actions of the production company in charge of the casting call,” the company said.
As for Kacey Leggett, she says “I’m lost for words. I’m still trying to process what happened.” Joia Talbott feels that this casting “went above and beyond to be disrespectful and degrading towards women of color” and stated that they were ready to go back to L.A. where women of color are not only booked but appreciated.
The women who were allegedly discriminated against held their own make-shift photo shoot with the caption, “When a casting director tells you they don’t want any Afros or women of color…you STILL show them just how powerful you are. YOU. CANT. BREAK. US!!”
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