Gotham: Warner 'sorry' for 'blacking up' white stunt woman to pass for black actress

Studios have since hired a black stunt woman for filming in New York

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The Independent Culture

Television bosses have admitted it was a “mistake” to “black up” a white stunt woman so she could pass for a black actress on hit American crime TV show Gotham.

Producers on the Warner Bros television show retracted plans to use a white stunt woman during filming in New York next week after industry website Deadline queried the practise.

On Monday dark make up was reportedly applied to the face of a white stunt woman for a hair and make-up test. Warner Bros. has since said it will hire a black stunt woman instead after being questioned by members of the press.

“A mistake was made this week in casting a stunt woman for a guest star in a particular scene on the show,” Warner Bros. said in a statement. “The situation has been rectified, and we regret the error.”

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Batman spinoff Gotham

“Blackface” or “painting down” stunt men and women so they can pass for black has been branded “unacceptable” and “improper” by the US Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).

Industry experts claim that despite the theatrical genre of “blackface” (where a white actor applies dark make-up)becoming increasingly rare, the practise of using stunt men and women who are white to depict black actors has been going on for decades.

Video: Gotham cast apprehensive about fans' expectations

Gotham, which airs on Channel 5 in this country and America’s Fox Network, is a Batman spinoff series developed by Bruno Heller. The series stars Ben McKenzie as Gordon, a member of the Gotham City police force.

The series also star's Jada Pinkett Smith (pictured) as mafia mobstress Fish Mooney.

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