• The casting call as it appeared online. (Starnow.com.au)Source: Starnow.com.au
An advertisement seeking a white-skinned male to play a police officer, but makes no such distinction for the actor required to play the offender, has been labelled racist.
By
Robert Burton-Bradley

Source:
NITV News
21 Feb 2017 - 2:01 PM  UPDATED 21 Feb 2017 - 3:11 PM

A casting call put out by the West Australian Police Union is seeking a White Caucasian male to play a police officer in a video enactment of a crime. The offender, however, only has to be aged between 25 and 40 years of age.

The actor playing the police officer must also be between 180 to190 cm in height, weigh between 80 to 100 kilograms and have "white" skin. There are no such specifications for the offender.

The post, which was removed shortly after NITV News approached the police union for comment, was criticised online by activist Facebook page Blackfulla Revolution which criticised the request for a white male officer.

"I spotted this advertisement for the WA Police Union calling for actors for an online campaign. Apparently they don't like the idea of a black officer?...I noticed that the offender part can be of any ethnicity though," the post stated.

"Can you imagine a black actor going to the audition and them saying 'oh you must be here for the criminal part cause we specified whites only for the part of the officer.'....This is ingrained racism.

NITV News understands the reason the police officer needs to be white and within a specific weight and height ratio is because the ad is based on a real life situation. However, it was unclear why the skin colour of the offender was left open.

It is believed the ad is designed to raise awareness of the issues confronting frontline officers in the lead up to the WA 2017 state election. The WA Police Union is calling for 1000 more uniformed officers for the state.

WA Police Union president George Tilbury told NITV in a statement the ad's wording "should have been more considered".

"The re-enactment needs to be true to the real life situation, hence the appearance of the police officer," he said. 

"The actor playing the criminal will not be seen from the front so that actor can be anyone. This important video will show the real life danger our police officers can face at any time. We hope you will support our officers and understand this situation in context."