Actor Jeremy Tardy, best known for his recurring role as Rashid on Netflix and Lionsgate’s ongoing dramedy series Dear White People, has announced that he won’t be returning to the show for its fourth season, alleging racial discrimination against Lionsgate in regards to performer pay. Tardy laid out his grievances in a detailed social media post earlier today, accusing the studio of treating him differently from a white actor in a similar position—and specifically asserting that while said white performer was allowed to negotiate their initial offer to return to the series, Tardy forcefully was not.
Tardy called out both Netflix and Lionsgate, alleging that the companies’ vocal commitment to #BlackLivesMatter—to say nothing of the content of Dear White People itself—didn’t line up with his experiences with them as a Black performer. He also stated that an effort to organize several recurring cast members on the series in order to demonstrate solidarity for better compensation was deliberately undermined by side dealings and a lack of transparency on the studio’s part.
Per Deadline, Lionsgate has responded to the allegations, asserting that “This was a purely financial negotiation regarding deal terms. Lionsgate is committed to equal treatment for all talent regardless of race, gender, age or sexual orientation. We are very proud of Dear White People and its place in the national conversation about racial equality and social justice and we look forward to beginning production on its 4th season.”
Tardy appeared on 11 episodes of Dear White People across its extant three seasons. He also recently co-starred on Paramount Network’s single-season military show 68 Whiskey.