A woman from British Columbia was an extra for a Hallmark Christmas movie but the experience was not as magical as expected. A Carousel Christmas was filming on the Sunshine Coast and several local residents were hired as background talent.
But there was no holiday joy in one woman's experience. According to Lesley Horat, she was discriminated onset based on her race. The incident started when she was standing beside someone who she was meant to be in a couple with, who was of a different race than herself. The issue arised when a casting worker told her that they were not allowed to be in a couple because they were "interracial".
"The casting wrangler looked at us and said, ‘Oh no, Hallmark has this policy against interracial couple representation in our productions,’” said Horat. She told other production staff about this alleged policy and incident, but they were not surprised – which makes the whole thing even worse.
She told Global News that Hallmark told her that they were not allowed to show interracial couples on screen.
And the plot thickens – this background actress is not the only one who claims they said this. Another couple on set also told Global News that they heard the same statement.
Hallmark’s parent company Crown Media denied the claims in a statement to Global News that read, “we state unequivocally that Crown Media does not have a policy, stated or unstated, regarding interracial couples in our programming.”
However, contrary to what Crown Media said, multiple sources from the B.C. film industry have told Global News that they already knew this interracial policy of Hallmark. "It’s just common knowledge that Hallmark expects people of the same ethnicities to be coupled,” said an insider. "We all are scared to rock the boat on this issue because there are so many productions that are happening."
If this is true, ridiculous and shocking does not even begin to describe this unfair and discriminative policy. In the past, they've been accused of hiring only Caucasian couples as the leads in their very famous Christmas movies. Check out their Instagram for yourself and see. These allegations are shocking and troublesome and perpetuate the lack of diversity that is prevalent in media.