A round-up of excuses Hollywood has given for white-washing your favorite characters
Hollywood has been under fire lately for some of its controversial casting decisions. Some of the studios have come out to defend their decisions on this really complex issue while others have felt the need not to. Here’s a bunch of reasons directors, writers and studios have put forward explaining their decisions and the possible implicit meanings behind them, just for a good laugh;
On Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One:
“Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films, and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU[Marvel Cinematic Universe] to life. The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic.” –Marvel
Look, guys, we’re giving you a Black Panther movie, and if you ask nicely, we might even give up the slot of the Inhumans—a movie we’re really never going to make—to a Falcon solo film. Give us a break, alright? Besides, aren’t you the ones complaining about how a lot of our films have cardboard female characters? Doesn’t that guarantee us at worst, a slap on the wrist even though Swinton’s white?
On Gerard Butler as Set and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Horus:
“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.” –Lionsgate
Just let us get away with it this one more time, okay? We know that The Hunger Games Franchise, The Twilight Franchise and American Psycho haven’t had ethnically diverse casts, but we’re fixing that with Power Rangers and we haven’t cast a black actor as the black ranger so that counts for something, right?
On The Cast Of Exodus: Gods and Kings as Egyptians:
“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.” –Ridley Scott
Yes, I am aware Ang Lee managed to raise that much money for Life of Pi even though it featured a first time Indian so-and-so but if you’ve seen all my movies after Gladiator, I can’t think is clearly as i used to
On Rooney Mara as Tiger Lilly:
“…Because people didn’t know what I was trying to do, and I knew when they saw the film they’d understand. Plus, I completely understand the underlying concern regarding whitewashing casting. J.M. Barrie is not specific in the book as to where the “native tribe” comes from, and so I decided they would be an indigenous people of the world who were engaged in a guerrilla warfare with the controlling power which is Blackbeard. I met actresses from China, India, Japan, Russia, Africa and Iran. But it was Rooney who felt the most like a warrior princess. My point was to make a heroine for little girls. A character that wasn’t a victim and never a damsel in distress — she’s more capable than any of the boys, especially Hook. She’s the best and smartest warrior in the film. That felt more important to me rather than placating other concerns.” –Joe Wright
Hey, I did obligatory the person-of-color search, even though I knew I was going to cast a reputable white actress in the end. I mean, not many people would see the movie if it starred an unknown non-white actress. I don’t have anything against people of color. My wife’s Indian, after all.
On Emma Stone as Allison Ng:
“I have heard your words and your disappointment, and I offer you a heart-felt apology to all who felt this was an odd or misguided casting choice.” -Cameron Crowe
It all started that morning in Kentucky when my mom came home with those Confederate Flag undies…
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