GLOW cast's scathing letter to bosses claiming 'racial stereotypes' left them 'disempowered and playing sidekicks'

ONE of GLOW's stars has posted a letter sent to show bosses appealing for better diversity and representation.

The popular Netflix show was cancelled earlier this month, much to the horror of fans.

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Now Sunita Mani, who played Arthie Premkumar on the show, has shared a letter on Instagram signed by herself, Sydelle Noel (Cherry Bang), Britney Young (Carmen Wade), Shakira Barrera (Yolanda Rivas), Kia Stevens (Tammé Dawson) and Ellen Wong (Jenny Chey).

The letter accuses the show of failing to live up to ideals laid out by its diverse ensemble cast and calls for a series of changes in the production process.

“We are writing to you today to share some feelings that have been suppressed in all of us for a long time,” the letter begins.

“As the principal women of color on a show tackling racist and offensive stereotypes, we have felt disempowered throughout our time on GLOW.

"GLOW has been marketed as a diverse ensemble, but for all of us diverse cast members, it has never lived up to these ideals," it continues.

**A statement on GLOW** I want to relay the above in hopes of transparency making things better for all. I made a joke about that recently and now I’m asking you to take me seriously, sorry! The above is not posted to save Glow, it’s just some personal stuff that we want to share.I loved playing Arthie Premkumar❤️

A post shared by @ sunitamani on

"Since Season 1, the show has planted racial stereotyping into our character's existence, yet our storylines are relegated to the sidelines in dealing with this conflict or have left us feeling like checked-boxes on a list.

"Unfortunately, we feel that the promise of this show has not been fulfilled. There is incredible support, love, and camaraderie amidst the GLOW cast, and it should go without saying that we are not here to take down our white castmates or our show, but to elevate us all in a deeper, more significant way."

The cast also expressed concerns that their characters has been "demoted to background players" and requested that "true effort be taken in expanding their involvement and presence on the show beyond servicing a diversity quota".

They asked for the inclusion of people in colour in the writing department, warning "it is a huge oversight to be writing our narratives without anyone else to represent us besides ourselves."

They also called for an executive producer or consulting producer of colour, so that they could "fully address how portraying stereotypical and racially offensive wrestling personas has impacted our character's professional lives and personal dignity".

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Fortunately the letter was well received from the creators of the show.

In a separate statement, Mani claimed the team "in the process of making season 4 reflect some of the systemic problems we outlined," making the show's cancellation all the more bittersweet.

Mani said of her hesitation to speak out in the first instance: "I was so afraid to speak on these issues to my bosses, whom I respect and I think are so brilliant, but was deeply moved by the support of my fellow cast mates.

"This was a huge deal – creating space for change – and it was a testament to the love and support that was, by no twist of fate, an intentional element seeded by our show's creators and germinated in the entire cast," she went on.

Slamming the nature of GLOW's cancellation, which was a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, she signed off: "I'd like our voice and behind-the-scenes narrative of representation to be the last word. Not Covid".

The comments come after fans raged that Netflix had cancelled "everything worth watching" on the platform.

Meanwhile, there are calls from the cast for a GLOW movie to tie up the loose ends left at the end of season 3.

GLOW seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix.

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