In today’s society, it’s becoming less taboo to call out things that just ain’t right. The latest topic is on the new film “Gods of Egypt.” It’s a fantasy film starring Scottish actor Gerard Butler, as well as a host of Australian, Swedish, English and French actors, who are emulating Egyptian humans and gods on the big screen.
When posters for the new movie were unveiled, everyone was kind of caught off guard, because most of the cast is lacking in the melanin department!
If the actors are playing Africans, shouldn’t Africans or at least people of color be slaying these roles? It didn’t take a genius to realize that the cast is not representative of Egyptians at all, so the internet started to voice their opinions. There were many people who posed questions that we all had for Lionsgate and the film’s director, Alex Proyas. A major question was “Why does the Egyptian extras from #GodsOfEgypt look like they’re from a Seth Rogen movie?” Black Girl Nerds tweeted along with a photo of white men donning headdresses. Evil Gal Productions even gave a helping hand to the creators of the film in case they’d never been to Africa before. “Dear Hollywood, White people did not rule ancient Egypt. Ancient Egypt did not worship white people. Hope this helps, -Everyone #GodsOfEgypt” while AKA Dan Entwistle tweeted: “In all seriousness, no wonder POC complain about diversity in Hollywood when movies like #GodsOfEgypt get made. Egypt isn’t in Europe, guys.”
Finally, the film gods have acknowledged the public outcry with an open apology from both Lionsgate and Proyas. “The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse,” Proyas said. “I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made.” Lionsgate added, ”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.”
Now, let us not chastise the film company, because they did aid in bringing some diversity to television and theaters. Forbes notes that Lionsgate has given us Crash, Monster’s Ball, the Tyler Perry empire and our beloved Orange Is The New Black! The company has definitely made some strides in its efforts to introduce more racial and sexual diversity to the big screen, but seeing as race and gender are still touchy topics, it will take some time for these changes to become more prominent.
TSR Intern: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on Instagram & @tallyohhh on Twitter!
Source Cited: http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2015/11/27/exclusive-lionsgate-responds-to-gods-of-egypt-whitewashing-controversy/, https://uk.movies.yahoo.com/post/134113545391/gods-of-egypt-filmmakers-apologise, http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/nov/13/gods-of-egypt-posters-anger-whitewashed-cast-twitter-exodus