An online advertisement for “Caucasian mature age men” to play the role of Father Christmas in suburban shopping centres in Adelaide has been taken down from a job website following criticism online.
The ad, posted by talent agency Essential Talent – was posted on Seek and Indeed – and offered to pay $40 to $50 an hour. The ad starts:
“We are looking for Caucasian mature age men to play the role of Father Christmas…”
Ad agency claims ad was ‘doctored’
“I did the ad myself and did not put that [Caucasian] in there,” she said.
“Someone has doctored it… it’s definitely incorrect.”
In a separate statement, Essential Talent added that it was “a casting agency, casting all sorts of roles with specific requirements”.
“This is one of those jobs,” the spokesman said.
What the law says
Miles Heffernan, Director of Litigation at Discrimination Claims, said the law is clear when it comes to advertisements.
“In most states, it is unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of their race or ethnic origin when recruiting for a job,” he said.
“An advertisement calling for only Caucasian applicants is unlawful, and is not allowed.
However, Mr Heffernan said in some states there are exemptions which allow racial discrimination where it was a “genuine occupational requirement” of the job that a person be of a certain race.
“But I don’t think it’s an inherent part of the job to be white for someone to play the role of Santa Claus,” he said.
Arthur Butler wants to play Father Christmas
Aboriginal man Arthur Butler (pictured above) wants to play Father Christmas this season, and said he was disappointed by the “Caucasian-only” ad.
“I was a bit shocked by it,” Mr Butler told NewsLimited.
“That was one of the reasons I went for it – to try and change things up – and I want to show other (Aboriginal) people they can do it as well.”
Mr Butler says he would “love to be Santa to see the kids’ faces light up”.
“I love to bring happiness into people’s lives,” he says.
Mr Butler says he called the talent agency and they told him being Aboriginal would not hurt his application but that they had already filled all of the positions.
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