Two women say that more than 12 black models were allegedly turned away from a swimsuit casting call during Miami Swim Week after being told they were no longer casting black models and that women with afros weren’t allowed reports Teen Vogue.
Several of the women who were involved in the alleged incident have taken to social media to share their experiences of being dismissed apparently because of the colour of their skin and to speak out about issues they face as black models.
Models Joia Talbott and Ka-Cey shared a video on Instagam (which was later reposted on Facebook) saying that both of them along with 10 to 15 other women "were dismissed from a casting today because they told us they didn’t want any more black models.”
Joia also says that “Afros were a no-no.”
“They was definitely not feeling my Afro at all, so I didn’t stand a chance, right?” Joia continued in the Facebook video. “Wow. We’re ready to go back to L.A. where we’re appreciated, and we book.”
“Somebody tell Miami that there’s no such thing as too much brown skin,” Ka-Cey added.
Joia also posted two pictures to Instagram with some models who were also excluded from the casting, but also some models who weren't there saying: "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!!"
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!! ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #naturalhairdaily #luvyourmane #teamnatural #blackgirlsrock #brownskinbeauty #queen #blackqueen #4cnaturalhair #4bhair #melaninpoppin #MelaninSummer #flawless #darkskin #Darkskinwomen #blackgirlsrock #womanism #blackwomen #essence #instafashion #melanin #darkskinblackgirls #blackqueen #thedarkerthebetter #blackwomenbelike #curls #Afro #brownskingirls @blackwomenarepoppin @blackslayingit @darkskin.blackgirls #swimsuit #sunkissed #kinkycurly #swimsuit #swimwear #miamiswimweek
The name of the casting agency wasn’t shared, but Joia alleges that black models were told casting was closed, but once women of colour moved out of the line the casting continued.
Fashion Week Online, the website that organises Miami Swim Week, posted a story from the models involved in the incident and says the casting call was for swimwear brand KYA.
They also posted a statement from their online publisher Pablo Starr which read: “Miami Swim Week encompasses around 100 shows, created by roughly seven production companies, most of them great people. So whoever acted in this way will be found. Unfortunately, it won’t solve the larger problem of the marginalisation of ethnic groups in our society in general, which I know first-hand is a painful experience.”
READ MORE: Where are all the plus-size men in fashion?
KYA released the following statement after the accusations: “Everyone at KYA Swim is deeply disturbed by the allegations brought by Joia Talbott and other models about the casting event at Miami Swim Week. KYA Swim is proud of its record of diversity and we are in the midst of looking into the events of last Thursday to review the actions of the production company in charge of the casting call.”
Incidents like this one are sad because even though the fashion industry seems to be trying to be more diverse, (like this story where they had plus size models, a breastfeeding mom and even a Paralympian on the runway) there is still a long way to go before the problem is fixed.
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