Seeing this type of casting again and again bothers me, and although I am resigned to the fact that Hollywood has a right to tell whatever stories it wants to tell, I also feel that all of us people of color have the duty to not support these filmmakers.
|Photo courtesy of HuffPo. For the complete story, click here.|
To tout a movie as being multi-racial and then listing three white actors as its stars is ridiculous, and
I find it even harder to believe that the Exodus movie could not find any actors of color to play the Egyptian royalty. This casting may have been based on the bankability of the white stars. However the whole process is a Catch-22. If you only cast white people in big parts, how will one ever find a minority star?
To say there are not any great minority actors is complete bullshit. There are many who are relegated to small parts or theater, while some white actors with connections are given starring roles. I won't name names but I often roll my eyes at how many bad white actors are repeatedly given work while quality minority actors aren't even given a chance. A recent study published by USC found that white actors make up nearly 75% of the speaking characters in movies, and my own study of leading actors on broadcast comedies provided equally abysmal diversity numbers.
|Noah's movie poster (courtest of Godawa)|
“Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise," Handel said. "You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, ‘Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.’
Let's digest for a moment what this guy said. Regardless of the offensive shade that he threw towards Bennetton and the Starship Enterprise, he acknowledged that the film deliberately chose to go non-diverse to make the issue "not a factor." In his and his colleague's eyes, he felt that white people represented "everyman" and that casting all white was the best choice to reach his audience. Although I doubt the Exodus filmmakers would put words like that on the record, I think it's important to let audiences know that this is the mentality of those making these kinds of whitewashed movies. Whitewashing in movies is a filmmakers choice, and if this choice does not agree with you, then let the filmmakers know by not watching their films.