Two black models have claimed that they and up to 15 other black models were turned away from a casting for Miami Swim Week because of their race.
Model Joia Talbott from Los Angeles took to social media to vent her frustrations after the unsuccessful casting alongside another black model, Ka-Cey.
In the video, she alleges that when she reached the front of the queue, she and other black models were turned away and told that the casting was finished. However, she alleges that other models were then let into the casting.
In a Facebook post that has now been viewed more than 1 million times, she described what happened:
Me and Ka-Cey, and about, maybe 10 - 15 other black models were dismissed at a casting.
They say, 'The casting's closed, just so we can move faster', so we moved out of line, and they opened the casting back up - wow Miami!
Talbott then turns to Ka-Cey to ask her her opinion on the dismissal:
I'm still trying to process what happened. Honestly.
She then goes on to say that the casting directors had specifically said that they didn't want anyone with an afro.
The didn't want any more black models, and that afros were a no no, so I didn't stand a chance. Wow!
She then continued:
Wow. We’re ready to go back to L.A. where we’re appreciated, and we book.
Somebody tell Miami that there’s no such thing as too much brown skin.
The models haven't revealed which casting company were responsible for the alleged discrimination.
Since the post went viral, the women have received hundreds of messages of support, with many lobbying the models to reveal the name of the company responsible for the discrimination.
One Facebook user commented:
I think they just can't stand the beauty. You girls are very beautiful and they know that. Expose the company already.
Many asked the models to reveal the name of the casting company:
I would LOVE to know the name of the agency! By the time I get done, not only would these beautiful ladies have a formal apology, they would get booked ALL over the world. Miami is not even a pit stop!!
Others emphasised just how beautiful the models are:
These girls are beautiful!!!
Since the incident, Talbott has remained defiant and refused to be beaten down by the incident.
Taking to Instagram, she posted an image of herself with a group of other black models accompanied by the caption:
When a casting director tells you they don’t want any Afros or women of color...you STILL show them just how powerful you are. YOU. CANT. BREAK. US!!
The allegations come just a week after Miami Swim Week was publicly praised for its diversity after it featured one model with a prosthetic leg and another breastfeeding her baby as she walked down the runway.
indy100 has contacted Miami Swim Week for comment