These days it seems just about every project Zendaya Coleman is associated with is mired in controversy, but thankfully this situation has a positive outcome. Following an investigation by SAG-AFTRA sparked by complaints from several black stuntwomen, the Disney Channel has replaced a white woman hired as a stunt double for K.C. Undercover star Zendaya Coleman.
The stuntwomen told Deadline the hit series failed to uphold the union’s contract which states stunt coordinators must “endeavor to cast qualified persons of the same-sex and/or race” when, last season, biracial actress Coleman was doubled by a white woman who just so happened to be the wife of the show’s stunt coordinator.
Although Disney countered that they were “in compliance with the SAG-AFTRA agreement” and the union agreed, the network still went ahead and replaced both the stuntwoman and the stunt coordinator. Disney Channel spokeswoman Patti McTeague told Deadline after interviewing 14 candidates, series producers and Coleman agreed to hire a veteran stuntwoman from New Zealand who is “Caucasian and Maori,” noting “She begins work this week.”
For their part, the Screen Actors Guild’s National Director of EEO and Diversity Adam Moore said he talked to the show’s producers “about how they can, in the future, do a better job of identifying and bringing in underrepresented stunt performers, particularly women of color.”
Let’s hope so.