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Author Katie Mettner

For Real, Though?

I've looked like that kid for the last five hours as I've tried to figure out how to write this post. This morning, a friend of mine sent me an article written about a casting company in New Zealand. She often finds all this wacky stuff out there on the interwebs that make you shake your head, but for the most part, you go about your day after reading it. This one left me so flabbergasted I had no choice but to look into it more. I'll let you read the screenshot I'm referring to before I continue

Note: this post has been changed since it was originally posted on June 25. Finding this screenshot on the internet had me yelling. "Always get tape, Frank! Thanks!" Val Kilmer, Thunderheart

FUNKY LOOKING PEOPLE NEEDED! Do you look unusual? If you do, make sure to send us a selfie (because those are always becoming) and make sure not to cover up any of that funk with makeup! Are you deformed? Are you missing a limb?  Have you been badly burned? If any of these scenarios fit you, would you accept payment so we can take advantage of your pain, and laugh about it while we do it?! 

Right now you're thinking, come on, Katie, this is New Zealand. It's a different culture there than in the U.S. Okay, that's possible, but I'm pretty sure that New Zealanders wouldn't consider themselves all horrible human beings who don't know right from wrong when it comes to how you treat people. Every country has a group of hateful people who wouldn't think twice about laughing at a post like this. That's human nature, they say. People will be people. Don't get your undies in a bundle. *As an amputee, I have heard them all* I do know every country has a group of hateful (or clueless) people who will laugh at a post like this. The comments on the post, the Reddit forums, and oh, the video, all told me that. That's right, there's a video. You see, they took the above post down (Actually, they just changed it), but they left the video up! So we get to listen to this woman for 3 minutes tell us what her company is looking for in regard to extras. 

Can you believe what you just saw? It took me a few minutes to close my jaw after I watched it. Every fake accent, every unnecessary over-explanation of deformities... good Lord, the list goes on. Upon getting the link on YouTube for the video, I discovered she uploaded this in October of 2019. It has been there for 8 months! If you check their Facebook page, they are actively BRAGGING about how Stephen Colbert shared their headline on his show, going as far as telling you the exact second you should go to in the video to see them make a mockery of people and their talent agency. 

Love @colbertlateshow
He has spotted our call out for talent and again shared it with the world.
This is for people in New Zealand only 👍
Thank you 😀😀😀
I just can’t believe it lol
Check the video

Go to 5 minutes 5 seconds

So so funny. Who would have thought that Stephen would be repeating our shout outs.

I understand that in a business like theirs they have to find the people to fill their roles as dictated by the shows they are casting for. What they DON'T have to do, is do it this way. I can think of 100 different ways to have made that video and post that showed just a little bit more empathy and, oh, I don't know, being a decent human being, Regardless of country or culture, making fun and being rude to a large swath of the human race is not going to win you friends in any industry.


I could get into a long-winded rant about ableism, but even that term doesn't apply well here because she is calling out so many people from different cultures, races, nationalities (seriously, ole? Really, lady?) that she essentially managed to insult a large swath of the population in a three-minute video. Do I think she knew what she was doing? Yes. I truly believe you can't put together that kind of video, write that kind of post, and brag about the exposure you're getting and not know that you're insulting and degrading people to do it.

In my opinion, the takeaway from this video is simple: DON'T. Don't see something like that video and laugh about it. Don't leave comments on the post about how your friend is at least six of those things and especially ugly to boot. Don't encourage your friends to work for companies like that. 

Here is what we can DO. We can DO BETTER. That's really, in the end, the simplest answer. We DO better. We actively try to be better to the people around us who suffer from the conditions she's calling out in that video. We need to stop making a mockery of their suffering. No one gets burned without suffering. No one loses a limb or an eye without suffering. People who are short often have a congenital condition that causes pain in their joints and limbs. People who are extremely tall often suffer the same kind of pain in their joints. People who have facial deformities have difficulty chewing and eating. One thing all the people she's asking for in that video have in common is suffering, pain, and bullying at some point in their life. FULL STOP.

In the end, what we need to do as a society, in general, is simple. We need to DO BETTER. We need to teach our children and grandchildren to do better. The only way to DO that is to be that. Let's BE BETTER human beings by digging deep for the empathy we know is buried within us and then spread it everywhere.

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