Article content continued
On Friday, Fumero continued to ruminate on the topic.
“I’ve been thinking about this a lot,” she tweeted. “While I understand the Latina population is v small in Quebec (and how many of them are funny actors?) the Amy n Rosa roles could’ve gone to ANY BIPOC so it’s disappointing to see that missed opportunity.”
She didn’t blame the actresses, she explained, but “the decision-makers.”
“Lastly,” she said, “if the show is successful I hope the creators take that opportunity to hire more BIPOC in supporting and guest roles.”
Her comments caused a stir online, eliciting write-ups in Entertainment Weekly, Vulture, The Independent and many other media.
Escouade 99 is directed by Quebec star Patrick Huard. The show is produced by ComediHa! and will be available on Quebecor’s Club Illico starting Sept. 17. In an email to the Gazette on Monday, a representative for ComediHa! said that an interview on the topic “will not be possible.”
The cast for Escouade 99 does include two black male actors, Widemir Normil as commander Raymond, and Fayolle Jean Jr. as sergeant Jeff (filling the roles played by African-American actors Terry Crews and Andre Braugher on Brooklyn Nine-Nine). For a new program on Quebec’s lily-white TV landscape, that’s a big deal, and should be commended. So it’s unfortunate that the show would have such a big blind spot when it comes to its Latina characters.
This is not the first situation to highlight the lack of cultural diversity on Quebec stages and screens. (See the SLAV and blackface controversies of recent years.)