(Reuters) — General Motors Co’s (No. 48 on the DiversityInc 2016 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) Cadillac brand on Saturday disavowed a casting notice that called for an “alt-right (neo nazi)” role in a Cadillac commercial amid a storm of outrage on social media.
The casting notice, circulated on Twitter and Facebook, said an agency was looking for “any and all real alt-right thinkers/believers” and indicated the call was for a Cadillac advertisement to be filmed later this month.
The alt-right is a loose grouping characterized by a rejection of mainstream politics that includes neo-Nazis, white supremacists and anti-Semites. The alt-right came to the forefront during the U.S. presidential election.
Cadillac officials said on Saturday the brand “did not authorize or approve a casting notice for an ‘alt-right (neo-nazi)’ role in a commercial. We unequivocally condemn the notice and are seeking immediate answers from our creative agency, production company and any casting companies involved.”
The Cast Station, a casting service, on Saturday afternoon posted on its Facebook page that a casting notice “for an ‘alt-right’ role in a Cadillac commercial was issued by mistake on Friday, Dec 9th. The notice was drafted by an employee, who was immediately terminated for her actions. Additionally an outside third party further altered the breakdown without our knowledge and posted it on social media. Cadillac unequivocally did not authorize this notice or anything like it, and we apologize to Cadillac for the ex-employee’s actions.”
The notice also called for “real current or retired military people,” as well as “real Olympian runner/cyclist” and “real taxi driver.”
Another version of the casting call posted on social media described the planned “Cadillac – Real People” commercial as a “beautifully artistic spot that is capturing (sic) all walks of life in America. Standing together as a union. This is not meant to be offensive in any way. Just a representation of all sides.”