‘Gods Of Egypt’ Comes Under Fire For Casting White Actors, Director and Studio Issue Apology
This past summer, director Cameron Crowe was relentlessly criticized for his decision to cast Emma Stone in a role that was meant for a character that was a quarter Asian, and a quarter Hawaiian.
Aloha, also starred Bradley Cooper and Rachel McAdams and the film was pretty much a dud for reasons that had little to do with the casting choices but the controversy did shed light on the ongoing issue with diversity in Hollywood or the lack thereof.
Crowe eventually was forced to apologize and acknowledge his stark negligence but it was just a matter of time before another filmmaker would do the exact thing.
The upcoming film Gods of Egypt directed by Alex Proyas is under heavy fire for blatantly shunning the historical background and facts that anchor the story by casting white actors as leads. The epic feature that stars Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Brenton Thwaites is supposedly set in Africa which has given most reason to ponder why the majority of the cast is white.
Actress-singer Better Midler tweeted her astonishment and as expected it attracted tons of attention, “Movie, #GodsOfEgypt in which everyone is white? Egyptians, in history and today, have NEVER been white. BRING BACK GEOGRAPHY!! It’s Africa!”
Both Proyas and Liongate, the studio behind the film succumbed to the pressure and promptly issued separate statements addressing the unfortunate discrepancies
Lionsgate: We recognize that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologize. Lionsgate is deeply committed to making films that reflect the diversity of our audiences. We have, can and will continue to do better.
Proyas: The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse. I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made.
Diversity in Hollywood has always been a sore subject for an industry that is loyal to its mandated blueprint simply because it is profitable and predictable. Taking a chance when banking on huge returns is risky business and when so many moving parts are involved – studio heads are rarely adventurous enough to dive into uncharted territory regardless of the sensibility behind it.
But with more public outcries and rejection – there is a slight possibility that things could change for the better.
But it will undoubtedly be a very slow and winding road to victory.