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February 24, 2016

A casting notice seeking seat fillers for this Sunday's Academy Awards.

Los Angeles-Based Production Company Seeking BG Seat Fillers for Major Awards Show

Production Title: The 88th Annual Academy Awards

Union/ Non-Union: Non-union

Project length: Exactly 3 hours.

Location: Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles, California

Available Roles:

Multiple males, 20s- late 80s, charming, rakish, serene, quick-witted though serious, a big lug, a stoic gentleman, a guy’s guy, the life of any party.

Multiple females, 20s-late 20s, beautiful.

Casting Notes:

We will be color-blind casting all roles, though we do encourage applicants to get to know this year’s nominees and to make some attempt to tailor their audition looks to achieve a visual that would best blend into the background during a camera pan over the attending audience. We’re game to cast a seat filler from any and all ethnic backgrounds, and are adamantly not saying we want a specific look for seat fillers. It’s just possible this year that the best seat fillers will all look a certain way. Who can know, really, until we do the auditions. We can’t be held accountable for the quality of seat fillers that walk through our door.

What to Prepare:

There will be no sides as this is not a speaking role. In fact, the audition will consist of us testing your ability to not speak when spoken to. In the event of an overly chatty seatmate (your Hathaways, your Scorseses, your half-in-the-bag Brenda Blethyns), a longer-than-desired acceptance speech, or a commercial break while you’re still filling your seat, we will provide you with 2 Talking Points:

“The show is going smoothly and will surely hit its running time, thanks to the impeccable planning and production value of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.”

“As a person who rarely sees color, I just noticed that the host, Chris Rock, is a black man, and as one, proves that this show is all for equality and fully restores my faith in the institution known as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.”

Just a quick follow-up to the above: it’s not only Chris Rock we love. Some of our favourite actors are black, Latino, Asian and Native American. We loved Forrest Gump and Forrest Gump’s best friend was black. All we were saying earlier is that all the nominees are a certain type and if you’re auditioning to fill the seat of one of them then you should try to look like them. It’s like if we were casting a live action Animal Farm and we wanted an animal to play one of the pigs we would only be looking at pigs, not glorious, accomplished steeds to play pig roles. (We’re comparing the white actors to pigs here, which is actually pretty cool of us.)

What to Bring:

Please come prepared with formal wear. Nothing too flashy or urban. And we’re only saying that because, again, our job is to match you with nominees and fine, we won’t say “urban” anymore even though Tower Records had that section and yes this country used to have a lot of terrible “sections” like that so maybe saying it used to be one way isn’t actually a good excuse. Just wear a black suit for men and a muted dress for women.

And now that we’re back on that note again, let us clarify that in a perfect world we would for sure cast African American, Latino, Asian American and Native American seat fillers, but we can’t fill seats that aren’t there. In today’s ever-changing media landscape, viewers are increasingly hard to please and we can’t risk alienating those at home. It’s not our fault if they simply won’t buy an African-American man playing the role of Mark Rylance’s wife’s seatmate, or an Asian American woman swapped in for Brie Larson’s Mom’s seatmate. It’d just look kinda wonky. If you envision a seat one way and then suddenly it’s another way it totally takes you out of the moment and asks for far too much of a suspension of disbelief. We want viewers to believe they’re watching Hollywood’s biggest night. We cannot rely on acting ability alone to ensure that. With our limited budget we can’t afford those.

It’s like that whole hulabaloo this year over what should have just been received as a light-hearted romp, “Aloha.” While sure, “we” also can’t buy that Emma Stone is Native-American, that’s what’s called a slight suspension of disbelief. “You” buy that, because, hey, it’s a movie. What you wouldn’t buy is a movie casting a Native-American woman in that role. It’s the same with filling seats at the Oscars. It needs to look like Hollywood. “We” didn’t make Hollywood from the ground up. “We” just cast the roles here. It’s the roles that are the problem, if there’s even a problem :)

Note: There will be NO requests for specific seats accommodated, no matter how much you want to fill certain actors’ seats. Even if you’ve been a filler with us for years and think you “deserve” a chance to finally fill that seat. There is no sense using words like “justice” when discussing seat filling. We’re an industry award and a television show. While the ad dollars we generate are real, the awards themselves are not. The sooner you all realize this the sooner we can just watch these pretenders get their meaningless statues. And that’s not a dig! They’re actually all professional pretenders. Hey, if the awards show for smartest scientist or most biodegradable packaging got as high a rating as this show, I would produce them. Shine the light of justice on yourself, because you’re not watching that stuff.

Compensation: We cannot afford to pay you in exposure, but we can afford to pay you in money. Men will receive $200 for each seat filled, and women will receive $150 for each seat filled. While this pains us as feminists to admit, it’s just more likely that men will win more awards than women so their seats just bring in more seat fillers. It’s pretty simple.

ADDENDUM: The separate casting call for seat fillers to take the place of those attendees boycotting the awards has been CANCELLED. Any invitees who do stand by promises to boycott the ceremony will have their seats filled from the above casting session.