"We should be careful about just sort of window dressing."
Charithra Chandran has revealed that her friends told her she only got a role on Bridgerton “because she is brown”.
The actress will play Edwina Sharma in the Netflix show’s second series.
She compared colour-conscious casting in the industry to “window dressing”, admitting she would like to see a more diverse crew when on-set.
Charithra explained: “People assume my success is due to a diversity quota.
“I’ve even had friends say to me, ‘Oh you got that because you’re brown’, and that really hurts.
“What’s really scary is that you can start believing it and thinking, ‘The only reason I got cast as Edwina is because they were looking for an Indian family’.”
She insisted that being a person of colour is not unitary, adding that specific communities should be represented under the umbrella.
Despite Bridgerton being praised for its diverse cast, Charithra claimed that the same cannot always be said for those behind the camera on shows.
She continued: “I would love to see more crew who are black and brown.
“I think that’s really important. We should be careful about just sort of window dressing.”
Before getting into acting, Charithra was exploring a career in law.
Whilst exploring that career, she was allegedly ignored by a parent of another child who was speaking at their school about becoming a barrister.
Charithra Chandran said the woman “refused” to look her and another Indian student in the eye. She later decided not to go into law.
Netflix’s vice-president of inclusion strategy previously said Bridgerton‘s racially diverse cast was the result of an “inclusion lens” being applied to casting decisions.
Verna Myers stated that the company supported diverse lead producers and showrunners for the series as well as its executive producer Shonda Rhymes.
“We’ve got to get folks in front of the camera and behind the camera.
“When that happens you’re going to get something you’ve never seen before. Bridgerton is something we have never seen before.
“We help out all of our creative folks in content and marketing with what we call an inclusion lens, when they’re casting and when they’re greenlighting: see who’s there, see who isn’t.”
Verna added that the historical lack of black employees in the technology and entertainment industries is down to industry trends and said Netflix has put special emphasis on recruiting black employees.
She said: “We had a special person to think about recruitment, specifically for underrepresented groups, and we started with people of colour, and we really emphasised black.”
Charithra Chandran will play Edwina Sharma in Bridgerton while Simone Ashley will portray her on-screen sister Kate Sharma.
Both sisters quickly fall for Lord Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey.
The second series of Bridgerton streams on Netflix from March 25, 2022.