Source: The Walt Disney Company

Source: The Walt Disney Company

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.

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  • vintage3000

    While I can definitely see a White/Maori stuntwoman for Zendaya (esp, with Zendaya being half white herself), I can’t help but think of this as another case where Black people get together and mobilize for racial equality yet someone else reaps the benefits.

  • ApMillz-CT

    Why replace her white stunt double?? Look at her skin complexion! she half white for god sakes.. How about replace Zendaya with a real black girl!

    • [email protected]

      Great Point.

  • mywordsaremypower

    I have seen this show air and the family setup is not realistic anyway, so it would not of mattered if the stunt woman was white, considering Zendaya is mixed anyway. Should not all her stunt doubles be of mixed heritage. It seems to me this was maybe down to favoritism and jealousy played a role in this situation. I guess the stunt coordinator favored the wife too much which caused friction between the other black female stunt doubles. The husband should of not hired his wife as this a conflict of interest on his part. It would be actually nice to see a family of colour who look like they are from the same genes to be cast, but this will never happen, I guess were half way there.

    • PurpNGold1

      That family photo is what really stood out for me, too. In pretty much every black sitcom the teen daughter has to be played by a mixed girl. I don’t see how anyone could be upset about a girl as light as Zendaya having a white double, anyway.

  • [email protected]

    There has been a long history of black women stunt doubles. There is a video on Youtube entilted, “Black Stuntwomen Documentary – Hollywood At Its Best Trailer” that shows the stories of black stuntwomen in Hollywood. There should be more diversity in the stunt roles. The previous stuntwoman being the wife of a stunt coordinator on the show will bound to cause tensions. What’s done is done. There are many views on this issue. Moving forward, we certainly have to promote more of our own stories that we control. Ownership of our power is one goal that we should fight for as black people.

    • vintage3000

      whoa thanks for posting that info about the documentary, truth. I never thought about Black stuntwomen before, that is fascinating. I think i read about one years ago who doubled of Jennifer Lopez in a movie.

    • [email protected]

      You’re Welcome Sister.

      That’s cool Sister for you know about one stuntwoman who doubled for Jennifer Lopez. I find it fascinating to know about our unsung individuals in a diversity of fields. We are a diverse people.

  • Rizzo

    favoritism, nepotism, racism, partisanism, cronyism … racialism