A casting call issued for a Milka chocolate advert has been met with outrage as it banned redheads and overweight children from applying for the role.
A performer named Helen Raw took to Twitter to share the shocking post after spotting it on Spotlight’s website, where actors post their profile and industry opportunity listings.
The casting call advertised for a ‘very pretty’ and ‘childlike’ nine to 11-year-old girl to star in a Christmas advertising campaign for the brand but rather than encouraging all female children to apply the casting director was extremely specific in what they were looking for.
The post described how the applicant must be ‘sweet and innocent’, someone who ‘had NOT reached puberty’. While the notice stated ‘eye colour and hair colour are not important’ it immediately went on to say ‘but no red hair’.
In an amendment to the original post, which was also shared by Raw, the casting director stated overweight children should not apply as ‘this is advertising chocolate.’
The performer’s tweet quickly went viral as many people commented their disgust at the casting call.
One person wrote:
If u [sic] didn’t know it was written by an acting agency. You would think a pedophile wrote it.
Spotlight responded to Raw’s complaint by amending the post, though initally they only removed the line ‘she must not have reached puberty’. They then went on to heavily edit the post, changing the description to ‘still a young girl. Sweet, warm, friendly’.
On Saturday, the company released a statement on Twitter describing the original casting call as ‘totally unacceptable’. They claimed the post did not meet their ‘high standards’ but said it had ‘slipped through the net’.
We should never have allowed it to be published. However, it was published, and when we were told about it we should have taken it down immediately rather than try to amend it to be more acceptable.
Mondelēz International, which owns Milka, responded to Raw’s tweet saying the brief was not representative of that which they shared with the casting agency.
The chocolate manufacturer added they are reviewing the situation.
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