Scammers were demanding a $99 “submission fee” for "live Zoom auditions"
Variety reports that Jon M Chu has spoken out about a casting scam involving the sequels to Crazy Rich Asians.
Twitter user Alan Baltes had claimed to be an actor and casting associate, posting a notice about the Crazy Rich Asians sequels: China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.
The post stated that the sequels were looking for Asian actors aged 20s to 40s to participate in “live Zoom auditions.” A Caucasian female part aged 25-35 was also listed.
In the post, Baltes said a submission fee” via Google Pay or Venmo was needed for those who wanted to be considered.
Chu said he was “disgusted” by the scam. “I kept reading it, and when it said ‘99 dollars,’ I was like, ‘This is f—ed up,’” Chu said. “There’s so many scams like that in L.A. anyway and to actually target, specifically, Asian actors, was very frustrating.”
Baltes’ Twitter account has since been deleted but he claimed to Variety that “someone sent me the information and was misrepresenting himself as being with casting. The person is no longer in contact with me after I inquired further. They were attempting to get me to send them money for casting calls.”
He added that no money had been paid to him and said he does not have the information about who supplied him with the “false information.”
Chu went on to say that the scam is exploiting the hopes of Asian Americans.
“Asian American actors finally get the opportunity or the hope that there are roles and parts out there,” Chu said.
“People have this light inside of them to pursue this dream that they never thought was possible before, and to take advantage of that and know that you can take $99 for a fake audition is just disgusting.”
“To put on top of that this time, when we’re being othered and we’re being attacked on the streets, is even more disgusting,” Chu added.
Not too much has been confirmed about the next sequel other than it will be filmed in China and will be based on Kevin Kwan’s second book in the trilogy, China Rich Girlfriend.
Chu, who directed the original 2018 film, is set to direct the follow-ups. Filming was set to start in 2020 but the Coronavirus lockdowns will most likely delay it.
Many of the cast from the original are hoped to feature in the sequel. Awkwafina, who played Peik Lin, is hoping the character “gets a man” in the sequel.
Crazy Rich Asians grossed almost $240 million worldwide.
In other news, a Chinese class at a Boston high school was ‘Zoom-bombed’ with racist abuse.