IT'S SNOWING YAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!! Oh, wait.... nope that's just a casting list for almost every movie in Hollywood. Oh yeah, we're about to get really uncomfortable here. We're going to talk about race today, and not the Jesse Owens movie that just came out. Lately the media has been very focused on the trending topic of lack of diverse representation in Hollywood, and more specifically, the Oscars. So today I'm going to rant a bit about something that a lot of you may be ignorant to right now. Hollywood whitewashing, which is a simple way of saying Caucasian people are dominating lead roles in Hollywood, even roles that are specifically NOT Caucasian.
The most recent film to be an offender is Gods of Egypt, which is oddly enough, set in Egypt. Now let's not confuse Egypt with I don't know, England? Egypt is in Africa. You know, Africa. The same Africa that African Americans can trace their ancestry too. Just in case you weren't sure which Africa I was talking about, I'll go ahead and show you to clear up any confusion.
Do you see it? I hope so. So now that we know our geography, let's talk about the cast of this film called Gods of Egypt. EGYPT. THE RED ONE ABOVE. First we have Gerard Butler.
Gerard Butler hails from Scotland. Don't know where Scotland is? Do you remember Braveheart?
Remember now? Pretty white, huh? Well Butler is playing one of the gods named Set. No really, that's his name in the movie, Set. Don't judge, I hear it's getting terrific reviews worldwide (*wink wink*). Okay so yeah that's just one guy, weak argument, I know. Well then let's move on to the other leads. Playing Horus, we have (give me a minute to make sure I spell this right) Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (no joke I had to copy and paste this name here, it's so hard to remember) hails from Denmark. You couldn't fill up a phone booth with the population of black people in Denmark. So that's two people so far, and these two are the main hero and villain of the film. Let us not forget this film is called Gods of Egypt. Not Gods of Europe. So let's talk about another main character. The character Bek is played by Brenton Thwates who is a native of Australia.
I mean do I need to keep going? YES. Since this is only one movie, I'm going to show you some horrific examples of movies with non-Caucasian roles that were filled by Caucasian actors/actresses.
This is not a joke... This is a movie that came out. In theaters, and yes... that's Goku...
The Last Airbender
I got the biggest picture I could find so you would remember it forever. This happened. Directed by the same guy who directed your favorite not-really-but-kind-of-just-a-little-bit scary movie The Sixth Sense. Let that sink in.
Breakfast at Tiffany's
This might be the most offensive one I'll post. This is Mickey Rooney. Mickey Rooney looked like this...
By the way, the name of his CHINESE character in the film was Mr. Yunoshi...
I saved this one for last, because this one is truly hilarious. This movie, The Conquerer, is about Genghis Khan, with John Wayne in the lead role playing, you guessed it, a cowboy. Wait, sorry I was think of literally every other movie he was in. In this film he played Genghis Khan. This Genghis Khan...
Hollywood casting at its finest. So if you're still not getting the point here, it's that actors who are not Caucasian really get the short end of the stick when it comes to movie roles. Can you name an actor who was not white that STARRED in a major blockbuster film in America who is not Dwayne Johnson, Will Smith, or Denzel Washington? I can't. Do you remember the film a couple years back Exodus: Gods and Kings directed by Ridley Scott? I doubt it, because it wasn't very good. This is another film about Egyptians. Starring white people. They even found a way to make Sigourney Weaver play an Egyptian. Well this film received much backlash for the lack of diversity in the casting, and here is a quote from Ridley Scott himself addressing it:
I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such. I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.
Yes, he really said that. Now before you go out and riot in the streets based on how offensive this statement sounds, tell me something... Is he wrong? Nope, and that's the problem. Comedian John Oliver had many similar points on this matter recently on his show, Last Week Tonight. Watch this: