Whilst surfing through the digital universe checking momentarily for the latest cultural production that might, be worthy of my hard earned crocodile tears, I saw an entry care of the Washington Post web site(washingtonpost.com: 2014/07/17) “Universal distances itself from ‘Compton’ casting”
Care of Associated Press, July 17th, 2014, the story relates to an open casting call posted on Facebook by the Sande Alessi Casting Agency recruiting background actors for the Universal Pictures biographic film of the pioneering Rap group N.W.A (N…..s With Attitude), titled,“Straight Outta Compton,” founded by Eazy-E, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. It is directed by F. Gary Gray and supported by the group’s founder members.
The casting agency sought to recruit women in four categories. “A girls” were described as “the hottest of the hottest” and could be of any ethnicity. “B girls” were to be “light-skinned,” whereas “D girls” were “African-American… Poor, not in good shape. Medium to dark skin tone.” (Associated Press; washingtonpost.com: July 17th, 2014)
OUCH!!! OUCH!!! OUCH!!!
I am thinking Facebook! Los Angeles! Rodney King! Riots! Donald Sterling! How in the name of modern America can you *#@^–up like that? How? To further add to the shock, it was posted on—wait for it—Facebook! Facebook!! F-A-C-E-B-O-O-K!!! THE DIGITAL DICTIONARY of the digital universe where the whole world watches, or, at least the 1 billion that have access to a computer and are sufficiently literate to use it. Wow!
Now you know and I know that not 1 billion Facebook users watched the post by the Sande Alessi Agency. The point is in the Internet age there is a safety first thinking called for whenever you post: always assume that whatever you post is going to be seen by 1 billion human beings some of whom might not have your best interests at heart. So write as if your enemy is reading, hates you and wants to harm you. Virtual thinking in a virtual world; or, put another way: CYA: Cover Your A_s. The Sande Alessi Agency failed to do so; or, did it?
Could it not be that the collective wisdom of a small part of the American community of which the Sande Alessi Agency and its employees are a part holds the above to be so true, normal and natural that its airing on Facebook is a normal unproblematic fact of life and business? Could it not be? And, that what we are witnessing is a social Freudian slip cum Freudian vomit, a vomit of sub-communal sputum onto the terrain of mainstream America? Or, is it?
Surely what we are witnessing is the new impress on social and commercial relationships in the modern world wherever the computer and Internet are present and accessible: all posts are transparent; automatic; universal and subject to interpretation by all who view. The technology is ahead of its users. The Sande Alessi Agency is the latest victim of the rapid growth in mass usage of the Internet. It is a teacher in a learning moment for us all. The Internet is flatlining social communications.
Needless to say Universal Pictures issued the following statement:
The company said in a statement late Thursday that “the filmmakers … did not approve and do not condone the information in this casting notice. We regret and sincerely apologize for being in any way associated with the offensive descriptions it contained.”
We are all part of the evolution of public speech via the Internet, including you. Be careful now.
July 19th, 2014