John M Chu 'disgusted' by casting scam around 'Crazy Rich Asians' sequels

Los Angeles, May 1 (PTI) Filmmaker John M Chu has called out a scam where actors were being asked to audition for the sequels to 2018 hit 'Crazy Rich Asians'.

The filmmaker decided to set things straight after a Twitter user named Alan Baltes, claiming to be a casting associate, announced that the film’s two upcoming sequels were casting for lead roles.

Baltes allegedly asked the budding artiste to pay USD 99 as 'submission fee' so as to be considered for the projects.

Talking to Variety, Chu, who is currently working on 'In The Heights' adaptation, said he is 'disgusted' by the fraudulent activity happening on the social media.

'I kept reading it, and when it said '99 dollars', I was like, 'This is f***ed up. There’s so many scams like that in LA anyway and to actually target, specifically, Asian actors, was very frustrating,' the director said.

He termed the scam as a direct attack on Asian actors who have only now started to get recognised in Hollywood.

'Asian American actors finally get the opportunity or the hope that there are roles and parts out there. People have this light inside of them to pursue this dream that they never thought was possible before, and to take advantage of that and know that you can take USD 99 for a fake audition is just disgusting,' Chu added.

He said such a scam makes things even more difficult for Asian Americans who are facing racial attacks in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, which originated from China.

'To put on top of that this time, when we’re being othered and we’re being attacked on the streets, is even more disgusting,' the 40-year-old director said.

In his response, Baltes said someone sent him the information and 'was misrepresenting himself as being with casting'.

'The person is no longer in contact with me after I inquired further. They were attempting to get me to send them money for casting calls,' he said, adding that he hasn't received any money from any actor.

Chu, meanwhile, made it clear that though open casting call might be a possibility for 'Crazy Rich Asians' sequels , no location scouting has been conducted nor any pre-production. PTI RB SHD SHD