West Virginia outraged by casting director’s comments

The movie Shelter (2009) is filming in Pittsburgh where a casting call went out for inbred banjo people that look odd, freakish. It also called for people with physical deformities to play extras.

The good people of West Virginia are angry because the casting of these freaks is for a holler (small rural village) set in West Virginia. It didn’t help that the casting director, Donna Belajac, made these comments:

Some of these ‘holler’ people — because they are insular and clannish, and they don’t leave their area — there is literally inbreeding, and the people there often have a different kind of look. That’s what we’re trying to get.

The outrage over a casting call for deformed people went beyond West Virginia to Summerside, Prince Edward Island where Thomas Butler expressed his disgust:

There’s a special place in hell reserved for those who would mock other people’s physical deformities. Or (those who) promote the same.

The producers of the film fired Belajac and assured everyone that West Virginia wouldn’t be mentioned in the script. No word on whether deformed people would be cast as extras but it seems like a no brainer unless the production wants even more publicity.

Shelter is a supernatural thriller starring Juliane Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. It now takes place in Anytown, Anywhere, USA.

Posted in Movies at 9:32 AM