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Model claims she was turned away from casting for being black

‘They told us they didn’t want any more black models and that afros were a no-no’

Model Joia Talbott claims black models were turned away by Miami casting agency

A model has claimed that when she and a group of around 15 black models went to a major casting call last week, they were turned away due to their skin colour.

Joia Talbott, a model living in Los Angeles, attended the casting for the Miami Swim Week fashion show when she was supposedly faced with unfair discrimination on account of her race.

When she and the other models reached the front of the queue, they were told that organisers of the show had finished casting.

However, they questioned this statement when they saw other models being admitted into the casting after they’d been dismissed from the line.

“They say: ‘The casting’s closed, just so we can move faster’,” Ms Talbott said in an Instagram video that’s since been posted on Facebook.

“So we finally get out of line, and they open the casting back up.”

Ms Talbott revealed that the organisers had then provided the models with a more detailed reason for their dismissal, saying: “They told us they didn’t want any more black models and that afros were a no-no.”

The post on Facebook has been shared more than 16,000 times, with many people expressing their disbelief over the prejudice displayed against the models.

“You ladies are beautiful! I cannot believe how discrimination still exists in this country,” one person commented.

Ms Talbott also shared a photo on Instagram of herself with some of the other models who had accompanied her to the casting, writing: “When a casting director tells you they don’t want any afros or women of colour… you STILL show them just how powerful you are.

“YOU. CAN’T. BREAK. US!!”

Pablo Starr, owner of Fashion Week Online and MiamiSwimWeek.net, explains to The Independent that allegations of racism at Miami Swim Week should be attributed to specific designers or casting agents, as opposed to the event as a whole.

"Underrepresentation or misrepresentation of various ethnic groups is a serious issue, both in fashion and in our society at large," he says.

"If there was a specific act of prejudice or racism, the onus rests on that designer or casting agent, not all the producers or hard-working people during Miami Swim Week, or Miami as a whole.

"Having said that, it's a shame that people continue to exclude or marginalise others, something that, as someone of Hispanic heritage, I myself have had to deal with many times over the years."

In February this year, Anok Yai became the first black model to open a Prada runway show since 1997.

The 19-year-old described the occasion as an “honour”, describing the moment as “bigger than me.”

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