The director of Crazy Rich Asians, Jon M Chu has responded to the Twitter casting scam that includes the follow-up franchise China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems. Twitter user Alan Baltes posed as a casting associate to cast for Asian actors aged 20 to 40 to play the sequels to the highly popular movie. Individuals have to pay Baltes US$99 (S$140) as submission fees and participate in live Zoom auditions to stand a chance to be cast.
Chu told Variety that when he read the tweet and saw that it was 99 dollars he started cursing and said that there are many scams in Los Angeles that are similar, and to actually prey on Asian actors is very unsettling. He added that Asian American actors finally have the chance that there are parts out there. The actors go after the hope that was thought impossible before only to be taken advantage of, have $99 taken from them and this whole thing is ‘disgusting.’
He continued that during this time, Asian Americans are being attacked on the streets. Chu had informed Warner Bros’ legal department about this fake casting call. The director posted his response to Baltes’ tweet but it was blocked. According to IMDB, Baltes is a small-time actor who appeared in Lost and Desperate Housewives.
Baltes told Variety that he was innocent and that someone sent him the details and was impersonating himself as being with casting. After further enquiry, the person did not contact Baltes. The person wanted to get Baltes to pay them after the audition. When asked who that person was, Baltes said he did not have the information anymore as it was on Twitter and his account was deleted.
This is not the first time Baltes was in the same situation before. He solicited money from talent auditioning for Jurassic World: Dominion in 2018. Colin Trevorrow, the movie director tweeted that anyone who requests money for an audition is not on the level. Based on Variety, Chu has not begun the work for the Crazy Rich Asians sequels. The director’s upcoming film is the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights which is scheduled to premiere in June 2021. Chu said that he is far from the work for Crazy Rich Asians sequels.
Chu was in charge of directing two episodes of Apple TV+ series Home Before Dark where he also worked as executive producer. He continued saying that there is no casting director and that they never lookout for the people out there. They do not have a script and have not done anything for the sequels. /TISG