November 30, 2015, - 5:09 pm

Racism: NBC Didn’t Allow White People to Audition for This Show

By Debbie Schlussel


Why did NBC refuse to allow White people to audition for a show that airs this week? It has to be racism. In fact, it is racism.

We often hear whines from Black race merchants and Black actors, claiming that they are “shut out” of roles dominated by White people–roles for characters that are known as White. There was the recent uproar when the author of the new James Bond book said that Black actor, Idris Elba, was “too street” to play the Bond role. (The race-baiting whiners conveniently ignored the rest of the Bond writer’s quote in which he recommended a different Black actor, instead.) But anyone who’s read Ian Fleming’s Bond thrillers knows that Bond is a WASP–a White guy. Yes, Bond is a dark-haired, swarthy White guy (not blonde like Daniel Craig)–but a White guy nonetheless. Several Black commentators were also outraged that Blacks weren’t nominated for a lot of Oscars in recent years, nor were they on the covers of entertainment magazines. And Black actors and their Al-Sharpton-esque cheerleaders often claim they are shut out of roles that are “written” for White people.


Well, here’s a tip: if that’s racist, why aren’t you calling out NBC for Thursday Night’s upcoming broadcast of “The Wiz Live!”? NBC refused to consider any White people for the case of the musical, and all of the roles went to Black people. Not only that, but NBC’s casting call, this past summer for “The Wiz Live!” posted by NBC’s casting agent, Telsey + Company, explicitly says that any women auditioning for Dorothy must be “African-American.” Why? People often tell me that James Bond is a fictional character, and the casting doesn’t have to be by the book–that a Black man can play the role. Well, what is it about “The Wiz” or “The Wiz’s” Dorothy that is explicitly Black? In fact, as we all know, the musical and the character are taken from a series of books that have no race for the characters in them. And the musical is a version of the classic “The Wizard of Oz” movie, in which all of the main characters were played by White actors.


In 2009, news broke that Black actor Jamie Foxx was being considered to play Frank Sinatra in a biopic. That’s ridiculous. Ol’ Blue Eyes was White. But there is nothing exclusively Black about any characters in “The Wiz.” Why couldn’t Owen Wilson and the talented Neil Patrick Harris have been auditioned for the roles of the scarecrow and the lion? What is Black about those characters? Nothin’. In fact, producers at NBC switched things up by making the Wizard a woman–Queen Latifah (okay, I admit, it isn’t for sure that Queen Latifah is actually a woman–only the gynecologist knows for sure). Yes, yes–I get it that “The Wiz” is “traditionally” a Black musical, but James Bond is “traditionally”–and in the books–a White dude. And the professional race-baiters think we should ignore traditions. So, by all means, that should have been done with “The Wiz Live!”

And, yet, when the shoe is on the other foot, it is never required to fit in the same way. Blacks are allowed to scream “RAAAAAAAYCISM!” when they are not offered roles of characters that are known to be White, such as Bond. But when Whites aren’t even allowed to audition for non-racial roles, such as in “The Wiz Live!,” nobody cares.

I wish I were a lawyer in New York. I’d have encouraged White actors and actresses to audition and offered to represent them in civil rights actions against NBC. What’s good for the “racially aggrieved” goose, is good for the similarly-situated gander. What–a White person can’t sing “Ease on Down the Road”? PUH-LEEZE. You can’t have it both ways.

The credits for “The Wiz Live!” list only two White guys in very minor roles as dancers and acrobats. All of the major roles are filled by Blacks. To keep White people from virtually all roles in a musical, merely because conventional Black culture demands it, is nothing short of racist.

Nobody cares, though, because you don’t have a gaggle of White people rioting in the streets, interrupting Black Friday shopping, and forcing college presidents to resign.

Black Musical Characters’ Lives Matter.

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44 Responses

I saw the original Wiz in a downtown theatre in Denver. My gal and I were way in the minority. Film was so-so OK until the scene where a big city is represented by a big apple. I barked out loud a “you;re kidding” kind of laugh. Very large black men turned in their seats and stared at me like I was the devil. A guy behind me said “shut up”. Quickly dawned on me they actually didn’t know what a Big Apple means.

Stunning lack of awareness of the world

jack on November 30, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    That stunning lack of awareness is mostly caused by ignorance or stupidity or both. Of course, one is curable, the other is not. It matters very little though, because the net effect on the rest of the world is the same.

    Al H on December 1, 2015 at 10:38 am

I guess it could actually have been worse. Next time, who knows? James Bond might be Muslim, and the movie might show him performing his religious rituals and gaining strength from allah for his missions.

LA: Funny you say that b/c when the controversy over a Black James Bond happened, I said on Twitter and to friends that they will ultimately have a Muslim James Bond. Great minds think alike. Idris Elba, who was being talked about for the Bond role, is Muslim, by the way. DS

Little Al on November 30, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Personally, I can’t wait to see it… Q swaggers in dressed like Huggy Bear to show James the new ‘Infidel Ejector Seat’ and ‘Beheading Laser Pen’

    YCHtT on December 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm

This kind of controversy also arose in the casting of the Broadway musical production of “Miss Saigon” in 1990 when there were all sorts of objections to having the great actor Jonathan Pryce “painted yellow” in the leading role in “Miss Saigon.” Actors’ Equity argued that the role should go to an Asian performer, not a Caucasian one, like Jonathan Pryce.

Famed Producer Cameron Mackintosh got into a publicized argument over the matter with David Henry Hwang, the author of “M. Butterfly.” Hwang had complained to Equity about the casting of Pryce in the role.

Mackintosh maintained that “had argued at a meeting that the role of Othello should only be played by a black man, dismissing the great achievements of many Caucasian actors as mere tradition.” The producer continued: “Does he conversely condemn Morgan Freeman’s interpretation of Petruchio in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ recently in Central Park? Or is American Equity’s concept of ‘equal racial opportunity’ a one-way street designed to curb the very heart of the actor’s craft?”

Ralph Adamo on November 30, 2015 at 9:13 pm

I ain’t never been nobody famous, and now I’m just an old man, but once upon a time, I had the privilege of performing in local, small town community theatre productions.

I like things to be true to the script, and as close as possible to being believable in real life, AND, with no apology, I see nothing wrong with racial prejudice.

I’ve never seen, “THE WIZ”, nor have I ever had the desire to see it.

Black shows, such as, “THE WIZ”, and, “THE WIND DONE GONE”, that are produced merely to mock traditional White productions, ain’t worth going to.

John Robert Mallernee on November 30, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    No these productions aren’t made to “mock” white producers. I feel offended personally by that. NOT EVERYTHING WE DO IS TO GET “REVENGE ON WHITE PEOPLE”!!! “Black” shows like The Wiz, The Color Purple and other shows like these are made to show problems and situations that either whites don’t experience as frequently as blacks or don’t care to expose to an audience due to the sensitivity of the material. But shows like these need to keep coming out because first off, It creates more roles for blacks. Like Viola Davis said in her speech when she won an emmy, roles like these where blacks can be casted need to keep getting created

    ty on March 27, 2016 at 11:06 pm

s. To keep White people from virtually all roles in a musical, merely because conventional Black culture demands it, is nothing short of racist

no way

if a company was doing fidler on the roof and a black guy wanted role of tevor i would say they have a right no
white and blacks have different talents they sing and dance differently

an artest should have the right to say i want to have a white actor or a japanse or a jewish actor
my play my chose
the director was going for a certain look
he has ever right to

bec on December 1, 2015 at 6:22 am

    bec replied early this morning. I can’t say that much of what bec wrote is coherent but I guess I get the gist of it. But I am smart enough to decipher stupid!

    MuzzCrusher on December 1, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      Now bec is trying poetry, words having failed him in prose

      skzion on December 1, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Bring back Amos and Andy. People need to be able to laugh at themselves.

Jack on December 1, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Yes,let’s bring back the Original Amos and Andy-played by white actors in Black face to show how far we’ve come!

    yonah hall on December 1, 2015 at 10:44 am

I’d like to see an all white production of Porgy and Bess or A Raisin in the Sun.

Judd Silver on December 1, 2015 at 10:37 am

I say we cast Chris Kattan as the lead in ‘The Wilt Chamberlain Story’.

#1 Vato on December 1, 2015 at 10:43 am

NBC is a fecal network, as are some others. I cant boycott them any more than I have been, since they did the false “documentary” on the “exploding” GM truck gasoline tanks the other decade. They have continued to exhibit the same low grade behavior with their programming and hiring of personnel, Brian Williams come to mind, and I think that they actually hired Al Sharpton for something. It would be comical but for the thought of the minds that they poison.

Al H on December 1, 2015 at 10:47 am

Being how I’m a Black Conservative and not an Obamabot I often catch flack about certain things. Like calling a spade a spade (oops was that racist). Anyway during this past Thanksgiving I tried to enjoy the holiday an all of it’s facets. You know the turkey with all the trimmings, the football, the conversations etc. One of my relatives had to bring up the fact that The Wiz Live had a Black Dorothy and is starring Dana Owens aka Queen Latifah. I have to tell you Debbie me being me I finally had enough of his harping and told him that The Wizard of Oz did have an all White cast. I also told him that numerous roles have been given to Blacks over Whites. Using just superhero movies/TV shows I mentioned that the roles of Perry White, Johnny Storm and Jimmy Olson were all played by Black people. My relative then went into full Obamabot mode and fell right into the same old racist trap. He said that more current characters should be portrayed by Blacks. I got him by saying ok so there should be a White person playing Storm in a future X-Men movie? How about a show called White-ish with stars comparable to Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross. You see with people like my relative Blacks playing historically White roles is the bees knees but not so the other way around. With him guys like Al Sharpton are heroes but guys like Dr. Carson are Oreos or house Negros. Speaking of the Nothing But Clinton channel will F Chuck Toad host of Meet the Depressed hit Killary Clinton the Butcher of Benghazi hard like he did Donald Trump last week. Or for that matter ask Obama a serious question instead of what he fed the First Wookie for dinner last night or what was the color of the Danish Prime Minister’s eyes. Somehow I highly doubt it.

Ken B on December 1, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Wait a second, Ken B. You had Thanksgiving, and I do hope it was a happy, healthy and safe one.

But what was your “Obamabot” relative doing celebrating with you? Doesn’t he know it’s a white holiday, that celebrates slave owning, genocidal, racist white people who brought disease and white Christian propaganda that gave birth to the most evil nation ever to grace face of the earth?

HA!!! If you put that question to him, I’ll bet he says as long as you keep serving the best turkey in town, he’ll keep coming to your house on Thanksgiving.

Which means that Obama supporters are nothing but . . .

jive turkeys.


Alfredo from Puerto Rico on December 1, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Hey Al,

    Don’t get me wrong I love my cousin to death but it took all of my strength not to hit him with a turkey leg…LOL. Also jive turkey. I haven’t heard that term in a while. It describes the Obamabots to a tee. LMFAO!

    Ken B on December 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      LOL!!! Well, I’m 59, which means I grew up before The Cultural Pancake Flip. As such, I remember terms like ‘jive turkey.’ Sadly, they have been replaced, as folks like me have long since become irrelevant.

      Alfredo from Puerto Rico on December 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm

I shan’t be watching.

JeffT on December 1, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Even though no whites were allowed, the movie is “about” whites but with black actors.

If the Wiz was “about” blacks it would include but not be limited to, murder, rape, illegal guns, hoodies, illiterate (street) talk, etc. etc. etc.

PS I was really happy with the Wizard of OZ. I see no reason for plagarism.

PPS Perhaps there is a Muslim Wizard of Mecca or something in the works. Forbid it.

Panhandle on December 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Ahhhhhhh, this is nothing.

This is just making up for fo’ hunnit yeeuhz of racism, hatred, oppression, genocide, etc. This is just a leveling of the playing field, reparations, giving space in society to those who have been held back for fo’ hunnit yeeuhz. Wosamatta U? Move on, nothing to see here, after all, it’s JUST a movie.

Or, in the immortal words of Hitlary Rotten Cu_ton, . . .

“what difference does it make nowwwwww?”


Alfredo from Puerto Rico on December 1, 2015 at 2:01 pm

I wasn’t going to watch it anyway. I gave up on NBC years ago.

OrlandoRican on December 2, 2015 at 10:24 pm

Seriously, I can’t believe this. I would dare anyone to do a casting for “Whites Only” and not have a shit storm following it. Everytime I see the commercials for this I’m just shocked that it’s not a big deal or has even been brought up. I’m just so aggravated that there are “Black Only” colleges and this and that. There’s nothing “White Only” because there would be protesters and riots saying it’s racist. Why aren’t there white people rioting or Hispanics or Hawaiian or Indians protesting? It’s getting out of hand. Stop getting offended by people just living their lives and having an opinion of something because they’re white then accusing them of being “racist” because you don’t agree. No matter what color you are shouldn’t matter. Why can’t everyone just see through skin color?! It doesn’t matter anymore! The only people that are making it an issue are the ones who are saying everyone else is being racist when it’s actually themselves.

Hannah on December 2, 2015 at 11:26 pm

SMH. The Wizard of Oz and the Wiz are two different musicals. The Wizard of Oz was made at a time that if there had been a black character it would have been a white person in black face. At that time not many people were writing positive black characters, if any at all. However the Wizard of Oz like many great stories has universal ideas that can apply to many, especially when you remake it in a way that you can relate to. In the seventies The Wiz was made with an all black cast at a time where exploitation films were being made to highlight the inequalities between blacks and whites in film and society. People loved it.

And for all the knee-jerk reactors who are ignorant, NBC just picked up a television series this year called Emerald City which is a remake of The Wizard of Oz, not the Wiz, which features enough white people to make you happy.

Mh on December 3, 2015 at 11:23 am

It is so very painful to read the comments here. 🙁 I am a black female and all my life have watched movies and tv shows with all WHITE casts. If you are not watching it simply because it has an all black cast… why? The definition of racism is: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. The wiz wasn’t created because blacks think they are superior! It is just simply an opportunity to give us a chance to shine in a world where the opportunity is as frequent as it is for others. I love the wizard of oz and the wiz and you’re missing out if you don’t watch the music is AMAZING!

Angela on December 3, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    *isn’t as frequent

    Angela on December 3, 2015 at 5:47 pm


    Angela on December 3, 2015 at 5:47 pm

This is the most ignorant thing I’ve ever read. Are any of you aware that this is a remake? And news flash…the wizard of oz was all white! But…you must find a reason to complain right? Because you must reign and rule over everything even staples that are important in the black community. Yes The Wiz to us is like Its a Wonderful Life and Gone with the Wind to white households. Do yes…to maintain 52nd integrity of the movie…it needed an all black cast. Have any of you even seen The Wiz with Michael Jackson? It is based in an urban setting and having a Neil Patrick Harris type as the scarecrow ( Michael Jackson’s role) would be more than ridiculous. I mean you want to complain about how much WE complain? What exactly are you doing now? Raising a ruckus for what? Cuz this is something you couldn’t conquer and take over like you’ve done oh…since the beginning of time? You’re entitlement is completely absurd. By the way…somebody please Google the term racist. Black people by definition can’t be racist. Racism is systematic oppression of minorities based on skin color. What oppression have you experienced in your Lily white lives? I’ll wait. The author of this “article” and you uneducated, misinformed, RACIST white people need a life and a fuckin clue.

Lauren on December 3, 2015 at 8:03 pm


    You say “Black people by definition can’t be racist. Racism is systematic oppression of minorities based on skin color. What oppression have you experienced in your Lily white lives?”

    I’ve worked on jobs where a black night supervisor favored his black ‘friends.’ Work they didn’t want to do was left for anyone who didn’t match their complexion, while they watched movies, left to go to the car show, checked out babes with binoculars, WHATEVER… anything to stick it to whitey business owner. And before you go there… NO! They were paid extremely well–their salaries were 50% higher than any one else.

    I also took the train for many years, often on nights and weekends where whites WERE the minority. I was threatened with bodily harm or death fairly regularly and even witnessed several black youths harassing an old white woman.

    Don’t even try to tell me that’s not racist… or may I suggest an early morning train ride you might like to tour on.

    YCHtT on December 7, 2015 at 4:48 am

      Oh, but BEFORE those experiences, Lauren, I was a bleeding heart liberal who made the usual excuses for very bad behavior. NOW, at this point in my life, TRUTH and a solid footing in REALITY is most important. You can’t solve problems by ignoring or denying either one.

      YCHtT on December 7, 2015 at 5:06 am

*the integrity

Lauren on December 3, 2015 at 8:05 pm

First you say the Wiz is racist, then you insult Queen Latifah… Do you wash or prefer to dry clean your Klan sheets?

Derek on December 3, 2015 at 9:38 pm

I’m gagging at at all these white tears and that sambo tap dancing.

White on December 3, 2015 at 10:56 pm

If you don’t like the Wiz, you can watch the WIZARD OF OZ. Same thing. You don’t have to be on everything black.

Jscky on December 4, 2015 at 12:13 am

Wow, if you think this country is so bad and disgusting what are you even doing here? Your thanksgiving comments show how ignorant you really are. I am not here to educate you but you should stay off the social media sites as you are the types which keep other ignorant readers uptight and stupid

Be me on December 4, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Be Me…

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” MLK

    What’s so hard to understand about that?

    YCHtT on December 7, 2015 at 4:20 am

This article is ridiculous. Did the author not know that THE WIZ was a film in the 70s that featured an ALL BLACK CAST (including Michael Jackson and Diana Ross) and that this is a remake of THAT FILM and not the classic 1939 Wizard Of Oz?

Such ignorance.

JoeMcMahon on December 7, 2015 at 2:40 pm

And needlessly insulting Queen Latifah, too? Wow. Grow up.

JoeMcMahon on December 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm

I wish people would just stop caring….by insulting any human you are insulting yourself because you are still a human. Who cares if they are black or white?

Hello on January 22, 2016 at 8:30 pm

They can Have it both ways and they will! I hate what America has become and I want out of here the communists and all their protected victim classes have taken over everything and subverted every American ideal it’s really sick I can’t wait to gain a lil success take
Y two brothers and leave! I hate America

Fern on February 11, 2016 at 9:38 pm

Are you kidding me? This post is ridiculous. First of all The Wiz is a musical highlighting BLACK CULTURE. It is the The Wizard of Oz told from the black culture. Although we’d all like to thing everyone is the same, there is a noticeable difference between white culture and black culture. So please tell me how it would make sense to have a white Dorothy telling a story about black culture. Also since the targeted audience is black people, who will the audience relate to more? A white woman or a black woman? 2nd of all your comment trying to compare James Bond and The Wiz made no type of sense. Like I said The Wiz is suppose to reflect black culture so the lead(s) should probably be black people who actually are living in that culture. James Bond isn’t suppose to reflect anything, so I’m confused as to how you made that comparison. 3rd, you said that blacks are allowed to do this kind of thing but if whites were to do something that was restricted to “whites only” it would be looked down upon. So first let’s go back to the beginning of america. From the creation of America to quite literally about the 1960s,1970’s, EVERYTHING WAS ALL WHITE. Even now, minorities, not just black people, are extremely underrepresented in television and movies. So yes it would be inappropriate for there to be an only white anything because frankly, that’s what it has always been and is what we minorites are still continuing to break. 4th, Your article title is misleading and false because as you mentioned, there were 2 white dancers in the company of the show which means they did allow whites to audition yet your title says “NBC Didn’t Allow White People to Audition for This Show”.

ty on March 27, 2016 at 10:54 pm

P.s. Lauren I also want to say black people can certainly be racism. And the definition you provided for racism is not accurate…

the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

ty on March 27, 2016 at 10:59 pm

Stop saying black people can be racist we know that it doesn’t matter if your black or white anyone can be black and for all u snowflakes who are saying that this is racist than your ignorant.When I turn on the tv all I see is white people.Can’t you let us have one movie/show with black people people

Tk on July 28, 2016 at 4:36 pm

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