Please verify

Watch LIVE

Casting Call for 'Hicky' Type in West Virginia GOP Ad Draws Fire


“These characters are from West Virginia so think coal miner/trucker looks.”

An NRSC official is saying that their request for actors in a campaign commercial in the West Virginia Senate race went out this way:

"So here’s what we need for casting.. 2 featured characters that will be talking to each other at a diner, conversation back and forth. ... One male- Age about 55.- Looking for someone to represent the middle of the country… Ohio, Pittsburgh, West Virginia area- Middle class ... One male- Age about 45- Middle class- Again, should represent the Ohio, Pittsburgh, West Virginia area of the country."

But Politico is reporting that the eventual casting request had more pointed wording:

“We are going for a ‘Hicky’ Blue Collar look,” read the casting call for the ad, being aired by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “These characters are from West Virginia so think coal miner/trucker looks.”

“Clothing Suggestions” included jeans, work boots, flannel shirt, denim shirt, “Dickie’s type jacket with t-shirt underneath,” down-filled vest, “John Deer [sic] hats (not brand new, preferably beat up),” “trucker hats (not brand new, preferably beat up).”

Hotline says Joe Manchin, who is the current Governor of West Virginia, is calling for an apology:

"John Raese and his special interest friends have insulted the people of West Virginia and need to immediately apologize," Manchin said in a statement to Hotline On Call.

"Not only have they been spending millions to try and buy this election with lies and distortions, we can now see once and for all what he and his friends really think of West Virginia and our people," Manchin went on. "It's offensive and it only proves that John Raese has spent too much time in the state of Florida, living in his Palm Beach mansion and doesn't know, understand or respect the great people of this state, and what we stand for."

This is not the first time a Pennsylvania casting call of this kind has caused tension with neighboring West Virgnians.  A few years ago a movie production in Pittsburgh ran into a public relations disaster with a similar casting request:

A movie about to be filmed in Pittsburgh is casting Gothic characters -- including an albino-like girl and deformed people -- to depict West Virginia mountain people.

"'Regular-looking" children need not apply.

That's the gist of an open casting call for paid extras for "Shelter," a horror film starring Julianne Moore that will begin shooting in Pittsburgh in March.

The casting call scheduled for Sunday invites "men and women of all races, 18 or older," to try out as extras, according to the announcement from Downtown-based Donna Belajac Casting. But the extras wanted for the West Virginia scenes evoke images of "Deliverance" and "The Hills Have Eyes."

"It's the way it was described in the script," Belajac said Monday. "Some of these 'holler' people -- because they are insular and clannish, and they don't leave their area -- there is literally inbreeding, and the people there often have a different kind of look. That's what we're trying to get."

Here's the trailer for the movie.  The GOP should not look to this for inspiration.

Most recent
All Articles