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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ sequels casting scam exposed

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US director Jon M. Chu attends the US premiere of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA, 07 August 2018. Chu’s movie opens in the US on 15 August.
‘Crazy Rich Asians’ premiere in Hollywood, Santa Ana, USA – 07 Aug 2018
Image Credit: EUGENE GARCIA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Director Jon M Chu says he is disgusted by a scammer claiming to be casting for sequels of the hit movie ‘Crazy Rich Asians’.

Chu said while sequels to the hit romantic comedy are in the works, he and producers are not currently casting for “new lead roles” — as stated by some press releases and social media posts. The false communicative pieces have been taken down, reports Variety.

Chu explained that a person named Alan Baltes, who claimed to be an actor and casting associate, shared a notice about the casting.

According to the notice, the makers were casting Asian actors, ages 20s through 40s, for lead roles via “live Zoom auditions” for the supposed ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ sequels — ‘China Rich Girlfriend’ and ‘Rich People Problems’. It also stated that there’s a part for a Caucasian female between ages 25 and 35.

The post said people who were willing to be considered for roles had to pay Baltes a $99 (Dh363.5) “submission fee” virtually.

“I kept reading it, and when it said ‘99 dollars’, I was like, ‘This is [expletive] up,’” Chu told Variety, adding: “There’s so many scams like that in LA anyway and to actually target, specifically, Asian actors, was very frustrating.”

The director shared that he “first alerted about the notice when he was tagged in a tweet, after which he notified Twitter and flagged Warner Bros’ legal department”.

After posting his own reaction, Chu said he was blocked by Baltes on Twitter. Baltes’ account has since been deactivated.

Chu described the scam as a “direct attack”.

“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 $99 for a fake audition is just disgusting,” said Chu.

“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,” Chu added.

He once again clarified, saying: “We’re so far from it [casting]. We don’t have a casting director. We have never said, ‘Hey, let’s look at people who are out there.’ We’ve done zero. We don’t even have a script.”


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