Sylvester Stallone accused of insulting background actors on ‘Tulsa King’ set

Director denies allegations to TMZ.
Sylvester Stallone stars in the Paramount+ drama "Tulsa King," which will be airing on CBS this summer. (Brian Douglas/Paramount+/Viacom International/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Sylvester Stallone stars in the Paramount+ drama "Tulsa King," which will be airing on CBS this summer. (Brian Douglas/Paramount+/Viacom International/TNS)

A local casting agency for extras announced last week it has stopped working with the Paramount+ TV series “Tulsa King,” which began production last week for season two in Norcross, citing a “clear toxic environment.”

Multiple background actors, on private social media pages said they witnessed director Craig Zisk and star and executive producer Sylvester Stallone complaining about many of them being too old, overweight and ugly for a scene in a casino.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the “Tulsa King” production company 101 Studios, which also produces “Yellowstone,” is actively looking into the claims.

Zisk denied to TMZ that they insulted anybody. He said he was simply upset that Catrett-Locke Casting failed to provide the right kind of extras he needed for the scene.

The more than 100 extras, Zisk told TMZ, were supposed to be hipper and younger to reflect the casino’s clientele. Instead, the agency provided many older people.

In the show, Stallone is a New York mafia capo who leaves prison and is exiled to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to open shop there. In season two, his character has opened a new casino.

A spokeswoman for Paramount+ did not respond to a request for comment. Contacts for Zisk and Stallone also didn’t return messages from the AJC.

Catrett-Locke Casting, which is in part run by Rose Locke, wrote on its public Facebook page that it is no longer going to provide extras for the show as of Friday, April 12.

“We send well wishes to whomever takes over the show. We thank all of you great background artists for your continued support,” the message said. More than 300 people commented on the post, largely in support of the company’s actions.

Locke wrote an email to extras explaining why she decided to stop working with “Tulsa King” that The Atlanta Journal-Constitution received from multiple sources.

“I have been informed of certain things that happened on Thursday, the first day of the casino” shoot for the show, Locke wrote. “I came the 2nd day (Friday) to see what was happening. At the end of the day, I resigned because it was a clear toxic environment that I was not comfortable putting myself or background artists in.”

Zisk told TMZ he got into a dispute with Locke over submitting photos in advance of the extras, which he said she did not do.

She declined to comment to the AJC, citing a non-disclosure agreement she had signed.

“Tulsa King” is shooting in metro Atlanta from April through August. The series, which uses Eagle Rock Studios in Norcross as its home base, shot season one in Oklahoma but last year chose to move to Atlanta.

Season one showrunner Terence Winter (“The Sopranos”) told The Oklahoman that shooting in Oklahoma was challenging: “I had no idea how hot it would be. I don’t think anybody did. When we first got there, it was freezing, and then, within days, it was 106 degrees and then stayed that way for like five months. You guys are probably used to that, but we were like, ‘What the hell just happened?’”

Stallone also complained about the heat on social media, noting on X, “Being in Oklahoma has definitely prepared me for a lifetime in hell if I ever get sent there!”

Catrett-Locke Casting is also working with “SNL1975,” a feature film shooting in Fayetteville at Trilith Studios about the 90 minutes leading up to the very first episode of “Saturday Night Live.”