This is the type of racist shit that I have to deal with as an African woman in the entertainment industry. For some backstory, I have recently decided to focus more on the writing end of tv and film, so have been looking for opportunities. I answered an ad looking for tv writers, so I submitted a résumé and cover letter. Sharon Gul of Crest City TV responded and cc’ed someone named “y aoyagi”. Anyway, he was polite enough at first, we had a video chat and they asked me to submit a series treatment for the BBC show Thirteen, which they were supposedly working on a 10 episode Japanese adaptation for, and they were looking for staff writers with a high level of English.
This is where it gets weird. So usually, if you send in a job application for anything, if they are not interested, one of 2 things occur. If they are polite, they send you a personal rejection email of a couple sentences. If they are not polite or don’t have time, they don’t respond at all. In this instance, however, not only did Yumiko Aoyagi write back to say she didn’t like the treatment and it was too long, she insulted my experience and asked me to redo it and resubmit?!
I was really confused by not only her complete 180 but also her tone. Her intent was to try to diminish me for some reason. I am used to people being threatened by me so I know how they behave. She wanted to hire me, but she also wanted to be sure she could control me. So she tested me to see if I was desperate enough to not only tolerate her rudeness, but do an unpaid complete rewrite with no promise of a job position. I am not. So I told them I would not do anymore unpaid writing for them and they should find someone else, because they completely wasted my time.
I didn’t hear anything for like 3 days, so I thought it was over. I was pissed that I had wasted so much time on the treatment but I have learned that you can’t cure assholes, so I pick and choose my battles. AND THEN, THIS ARRIVES:
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Your assignment
From: “SHARON GUL”
Date: Sun, January 14, 2018 10:01 pm
we read your email and was very sorry you have to feel that way.
I was thinking a lot of to reply to your annoying mail or not , and finally
decided to do so.
During the interview
as with all other candidates , Yumiko asked
you very clearly No more than 3 pages.
And I was there !
We have more than 65 candidates and cannot read 10 pages from each one.
It might be only miss understanding ,
however your poor communication skill definitely closed any door with us.
You were definitely not the best candidate out of all , but for sure
Surprisingly all the other GOOD candidates understood exactly what Yumiko
asked for and DELIVERED!
TV writing is nothing but team work ,you might be a talented writer , but
i’m glad we found out that your personality might not be cut out for it
before we waste your time.
About wasting your time – it is very common in the world nowadays (well at
least at those advanced places that I know of ) to conduct few interviews
with the good candidates , and give them assignments to test their
abilities in different areas, but obviously it is not good enough for you.
We will go forward with our plans and projects and will do very well with
the people we gathered!
can you say the same about yourself ?
Maybe something is wrong with you and not with all the world out there ?
Think about it , I’m sure you will have plenty of time now to do so.
wish you the best for your future endeavors .
Ohhhkaayyy. So you have 65 candidates, yet you stew over my email for days, then write me an entire essay, to tell me that you’re not interested and you have other people who are better? If that is the case, shouldn’t you be talking to them right now? It’s so strange when people do the whole “I just wanted to take time out to let you know that I don’t have time for you.” Like, do they not know how stupid they look? Besides that, in the interview, she very clearly said it’s generally 3-5 pages but don’t worry about format or if it’s more, she just wants a good story. So they were doubling down on the lie that they gave me different directions. Also, if I was not the best candidate, then why ask me to submit? And then resubmit? Isn’t it normal business practice to interview and ask for submissions from the best candidates? Why waste time with people you think will be shit at the job? And once again IF YOU HAVE A ZILLION OTHER CANDIDATES WHO ARE AMAZING AND GAVE YOU EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT, WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO ME RIGHT NOW?!
The entire message was one ridiculous, delusional White Male Ego™ filled shart, but the thing that pushed me over was the line “About wasting your time – it is very common in the world nowadays (well at least at those advanced places that I know of)” Listen, I know racist passive aggression like the back of my hand, racist White people are like glass to me. I can see through that shit a mile away. So since it is obvious what I was dealing with and I really don’t have time to feign politeness to racist dipshits, I sent him a frank and succinct response:
Subject: RE: Re: Your assignment
Date: Mon, Jan 15, 2018 10:02 am
To: “SHARON GUL”
lol fuck you both, you lying, manipulative disrespectful assholes. Thank god I didn’t get stuck working with you primitives. Good riddance.
I deliberately used the word primitives because I know his racist ass was taking jabs at my African-ness and throwing it back at him would make his White Male Ego™ loosen the reigns and his racist tongue would get wagging. I hate when they try to hide shit. You got some racist shit to say to me? Fucking say it. Oh boy, did he (I bolded his “best of”):
Subject: Re: Re: Your assignment
From: SHARON GUL
Date: Mon, Jan 15, 2018 10:08 pm
Wow , what a class , what a language.
actually, i think you should switch to comedy , maybe your talent is there .
To hear those words from someone whom name sounds more like a disease rather than a human , it’s kinda funny.😆
assholes ? it’s kinda funny too , when it comes from you , it’s not me ,but president trump called the place you come from a shit hole , now it makes much more sense.😆
Primitives ?? You are sitting for an interview with huge stupid headphones on your head , looking like a scene from the 30’s , but we are the primitives ?😆
Primitives ?? Having an internet connection connected by strings and cans , not allowing even 1 clear sentence , and we are the primitives ? 😆
Manipulative ? Liars? To hear that from someone who live in a place which the main export industry to the world is online frauds , that’s funny 😆.
and yes ! we did plan to pay you ! we are running a business and a successful one , and in our enlightened world ,people are getting paid, but reading your mails , i must say that
the only payment you deserve is by (a certain ) fruit. (Note: I don’t really get this insult tbh)
You might be the coolest writer in the tribe , but not more than that .no wonder you are where you are at the age of 35.
Soooo. That’s what happens to an African woman when you submit a script and the company doesn’t like it. I don’t get rejected, I don’t get ignored, I get whatever that just was. It doesn’t even make sense. My name sounds like a disease? Your last name is Gul. I’m supposed to be insulted by what Trump thinks of my country? Maybe both you and he should go grab another pussy. Seems to be a rich White male pastime, after all. Mocking my headphones? I had on studio headphones for mixing because I mix. In studios. They tend to be big. And I was talking to him over 4g internet like most of fucking Lagos, Nigeria. And about the scam thing? Maybe he should have watched this: Nigerian Prince Scammer is a White Guy . Also, Nigeria’s largest export is not, in fact, scamming, but crude oil and other mineral oils, without which your racist, exploitative, resource-thieving ass countries couldn’t even function. You’re welcome. By the way, about that age jab? He’s bald as fuck and looks to be about 20 years older than me so … Yumiko Aoyagi is at least a decade older than me too. And neither of them have even half my talent. Just putting that out there.
I am sick of this racist, anti-African shit at every turn. I’m tired of it. I will not accept it and I will put every fucking racist on blast. Fuck all of you. Yumiko Aoyagi is responsible for writing the Japanese version of Orphan Black which is currently airing. If these are the types of people the BBC and Fuji TV like to work with, then it should be known. I don’t care if you don’t want to give me jobs because I stand up for myself and don’t eat shit. Like your racist ass was going to hire me anyway? Fame and money are not worth this shit for me. I know I’m talented and I will continue to do what I love, but I’ll be damned if I won’t let out a fuck you to anyone who tries to disrespect me as a woman, a Black person or an African.
I just had to get this off my chest. Reading his fucking email made me want to puke. I hope this blog is connected with their names in google searches forever.
ETA: Kieron Cashell, of GPlusMedia/Gaijin Pot, the site where I found the ad, actually told me that these emails were not racist, but just “bad business etiquette” and did not violate Gaijin Pot’s terms of service, therefore he would do nothing. Just another racist to add to the pile, but it should be known that he and GPlusMedia/Gaijin Pot are anti-African and anti-Black and condone racist harassment. The BBC were also made aware of the emails and still continue to work with Yumiko Aoyagi and also called me a “reverse racist” to boot. This is how people behave when they believe that as an African woman, you have no voice or power. It’s ok. I will be heard. You can’t see that, but I do. And your true nature will be known.