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

Click to follow
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.”

AN53927434Gothampress image.jpg
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.