The weird, white cast of Woody Allen’s new Amazon series just got weirder and whiter

03.16.16 2 years ago

The cast of Woody Allen's upcoming six-episode Amazon series just got bigger.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Rebecca Schull, Margaret Ladd, David Harbour, Christine Ebersole, Michael Rapaport, and, somewhat surprisingly, Joy Behar and Lewis Black will appear in Allen's mysterious show, the title and plot of which have yet to be announced. They'll join previously announced Elaine May, Rachel Brosnahan, John Magaro, and, very surprisingly, Miley Cyrus.

In a world where Olivia Wilde, at 28, was deemed “too old” to play Leonardo DiCaprio's wife, it's nice to see some older actresses (Schull is 87, May is 83, and Ladd and Behar are 73) get work, and some of these casting choices are, on their face, intriguingly unconventional — Behar, for instance, is best known these days for her hosting work (though she's also done a good bit of acting work, including in Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery), while Miley Cyrus is Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana was a long time ago). Like Behar, Black is better known for appearing as himself than his acting work, but certainly has plenty of that on his résumé — including a role in Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters.

But it's disappointing (if not surprising) to see that Allen is, thus far, sticking with an entirely white cast. Especially with a streaming series. We've gotten so much more diversity of content and cast with series on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon than we ever would on TV networks, and this feels like a step backwards in that regard.

Allen has said that he wouldn't hire someone of color for a part for the sake of diversity, but because that person is right for the part. Looks like, as has so often (but not always!) been the case, non-white people aren't right for his parts. 

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