This Ad Reminds Us That Everyone Deserves To Be Cast As A Hero, Not As A Stereotype

"The problem is not seeing the problem."

Diversity in casting is important, but we must not forget that working to overcome stereotypes matters as well. The Unstereotype Alliance and U.N. Women — with a goal of "[ending] the stereotypes that hold people back" — has released an ad that, though it only runs for a little over two minutes, perfectly shows that typecasting is still an issue.

The video gives viewers a first-person perspective of an audition that brings in numerous people for roles that hinge on biases. First is an actor reading for the role of "Useless Dad" (who we see messing up the laundry), then a few actresses come in for antiquated gender-specific roles (such as "Receptionist" and "Mother"), and finally, an actor reading for the role of "Corner Shop Man" (who is asked to do an Indian accent despite speaking perfect English).

Perhaps the most powerful imagery, though, comes when we see a man holding up a sign that says "Director" and a woman standing a little behind holding a sign that says "PA." The reason why it's so meaningful? Joanna Bailey, who directed this clip, revealed that, on another set where she was the director, a celebrity mistook her for being in the makeup department. 

One woman says that she gets calls for roles like "Sexy Dancer" but her background is actually as a classically trained ballerina. Then there's a woman who says "I'm never the hero, I'm sort of always handing the hero a note." Another woman just wants to be able to speak sometimes. Then there's a woman who says she only gets cast because of her looks or body. And finally, there's another woman who says, "I'm a fabulous, awesome Black woman … I've never played a role like that." 

"The Unstereotype Alliance launches a call to action to the advertising industry sending a clear message about the perils of stereotyping," the YouTube description reads. "Built around the notion that 'the problem is not seeing the problem' the film calls on the industry to take a deeper look to recognize the problem of stereotypes, as a first step to eliminating them."

Check out the video above.

(H/T: Adweek)

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