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In Other White Washing News: Director Ridley Scott Slammed for White Casting in 'Exodus'


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The film “Exodus: Gods and Kings” isn’t due out for another two weeks, but the movie's focus on the life of Moses is already being criticized because the actors in its major roles are whites playing Egyptians.

The movie stars Christian Bale as Moses, Aaron Paul as Joshua, Sigourney Weaver as Tuya and Joel Edgerton as Rhamses. On Twitter, the hashtag #boycottexodusmovie is trending, with posters airing their displeasure with the casting.

One poster wrote: “I actually wanted to see #BoycottExodusMovie but I won't waste my money on something some historically inaccurate.”

Another added: “Blacks only cast as slaves, thieves...Not the Kings and Queens? I hope @ExodusMovie bombs at the box office..”

There are several other actors of color in the film’s cast, including Ben Kingsley, Dar Salim and Indira Varma.

Director Ridley Scott addressed the issue in an interview with Variety, telling the publication the casting was a business decision.

“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,” Scott says. “I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”

In this respect, Scott isn’t alone. Much of Hollywood’s portrayals of notable Biblical figures have been by white actors – Liz Taylor played Cleopatra, Charlton Heston played Moses and Russell Crowe played Noah. There was one notable exception when Egyptian actor Omar Sharif played Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, in the 2006 film, “The Ten Commandments.”

Ramin Setoodeh, an editor with Variety, says Hollywood has a big diversity problem.

"They don’t often let actors of color or diverse actors play lead roles in films and I think we’re seeing this spill over to these Biblical stories," he said.

Scott’s film is also in hot water with religious groups, who are angry over Bale’s take on Moses.

In an interview with ABC’s “Nightline,” Bale said of Moses: “[He was] absolutely seen as a freedom fighter for the Hebrews, but a terrorist in terms of the Egyptian empire,” adding that if Moses were alive today, “Drones would be sent out after him, right?”

And at news conference in September, Bale said of Moses: “I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life. He's a very troubled and tumultuous man who fought greatly against God, against his calling."

Setoodeh of Variety said religious groups want to make sure the Bible is portrayed in a way that is fair and not offensive.

“Exodus: Gods and Kings” opens nationwide Dec. 12.

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/director-ridley-scott-slammed-white-casting-exodus/story?id=27210928

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Personally the movie lost me at Christian Bale, great actor I admit, but eh, not a huge fan of him. But yea this is a topic & culture (Egyptians) that treatment through Hollywood casting has never been accurate, and just once I'd LOVE a big budget film like this or The Mummy franchise remake coming out to get this right. It's like I'll give the movie the half a point or "almost" point it deserves for actually not having every actor of the film be white, but they messed up by having them be the slaves, when for them to be historically accurate they could still have diffrent races (make the film an all multiracial/mixed cast lol) but no 1 race or tone was more surperior to the other, if the king had a dark kid, that kid wasn't automatically a slave. I've been to Egypt, and to the Cairo museum, its pretty evident that those Egyptians didn't exactly have predominantly European facial features, they seemed very African or bi-racial to me

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1. As I explained in another thread, it makes sense for Elizabeth to play Cleopatra. At best you can give her a tan based on where she lived, but Cleopatra was white. These others, though, no. They should all have some form of color.

 

2. I also hope this movie tanks and I've lost a lot of respect for Ridley Scott over this. His explanation was bullshit. You sell the movie based on its quality and there are droves of great actors and actresses of color who should have played these roles. Fuck him and anyone like him. 

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Personally the movie lost me at Christian Bale, great actor I admit, but eh, not a huge fan of him. But yea this is a topic & culture (Egyptians) that treatment through Hollywood casting has never been accurate, and just once I'd LOVE a big budget film like this or The Mummy franchise remake coming out to get this right. It's like I'll give the movie the half a point or "almost" point it deserves for actually not having every actor of the film be white, but they messed up by having them be the slaves, when for them to be historically accurate they could still have diffrent races (make the film an all multiracial/mixed cast lol) but no 1 race or tone was more surperior to the other, if the king had a dark kid, that kid wasn't automatically a slave. I've been to Egypt, and to the Cairo museum, its pretty evident that those Egyptians didn't exactly have predominantly European facial features, they seemed very African or bi-racial to me

Exactly! And the fact that they have a white woman playing Moses wife, (Kushite, Sudanese) is beyond me.

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1. As I explained in another thread, it makes sense for Elizabeth to play Cleopatra. At best you can give her a tan based on where she lived, but Cleopatra was white. These others, though, no. They should all have some form of color.

 

2. I also hope this movie tanks and I've lost a lot of respect for Ridley Scott over this. His explanation was bullshit. You sell the movie based on its quality and there are droves of great actors and actresses of color who should have played these roles. Fuck him and anyone like him. 

Oh yea I get Liz as Cleo, Roman's were in Egypt at one point in time. And I agree 300million percent on his response being bullshit and he could've casted whoever the hell he wanted, tuth of it all probably is as simple as he thinks people woul pay more to see a movie staring Christian & Segurney & Aaron than say Denzel, Angela, or any other actor of color (black, mixed, middle eastern), he knew exactly what he was doing.

Exactly! And the fact that they have a white woman playing Moses wife, (Kushite, Sudanese) is beyond me.

Right, it's just too purposeful

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Oh yea I get Liz as Cleo, Roman's were in Egypt at one point in time. And I agree 300million percent on his response being bullshit and he could've casted whoever the hell he wanted, truth of it all probably is as simple as he thinks people woul pay more to see a movie staring Christian & Segurney & Aaron than say Denzel, Angela, or any other actor of color (black, mixed, middle eastern), he knew exactly what he was doing.

 

Greeks (Macedonians) were in Egypt before the Romans. It was part of Alexander's empire. The entire Ptolemaic (Ptolemy I - Alexander's general) dynasty she descends from was Greek (Macedonian) thanks to incest and of course choosing wives from home instead of the Egyptians they lived with.

 

Exactly. This isn't even about casting specifically Middle Eastern actors like he said (just to dodge the question, no doubt), but simply actors of color, period, would have worked out. He didn't even try to be culturally nor historically accurate at all. He knew what he wanted from the beginning. If it's a great movie then people will pay to see it, regardless. That's how it always works. I hope it makes as little of that $140 million back as possible. I can't believe I'm trying to defend a biblical story (for accuracy no less) like this, but damnit this is one of the few I stayed awake in Sunday School for as a kid. :lmao:

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Greeks (Macedonians) were in Egypt before the Romans. It was part of Alexander's empire. The entire Ptolemaic (Ptolemy I - Alexander's general) dynasty she descends from was Greek (Macedonian) thanks to incest and of course choosing wives from home instead of the Egyptians they lived with.

 

Exactly. This isn't even about casting specifically Middle Eastern actors like he said (just to dodge the question, no doubt), but simply actors of color, period, would have worked out. He didn't even try to be culturally nor historically accurate at all. He knew what he wanted from the beginning. If it's a great movie then people will pay to see it, regardless. That's how it always works. I hope it makes as little of that $140 million back as possible. I can't believe I'm trying to defend a biblical story (for accuracy no less) like this, but damnit this is one of the few I stayed awake in Sunday School for as a kid. :lmao:

LOL See that's where in Egypt history I always lost a lil interest lol, so thanks for that info lol

 

RIGHT?!?!? And tho like I said I am spiritual, but I'm against religions and don't believe the tales in the Bible to be 100% historic fact, this was ALWAYS my favorite Bible story frankly (and honestly it's because it was about Egypt and lets be real, religious, Christian, spiritual, Athiest, the idea of those plagues being real as a kid is FASCINATING & ENTERTAINING  :lmao:  :lmao:  :lmao: ) But yea I hope this goes on to be a "Alexander" lol, which TECHNICALLY was a success (budget of $155mil & grossed 167mil) but is viewed as a box office BOMB and all around failure. I hope this gets that. I'm so sick of this being done with things that involve ancient Egypt

 

It does go to the stereo type that Hollywood doesn't want to see a black ancient king, they want a black slave or thief or servant, things have changed but clearly not enough :sigh: .

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LOL See that's where in Egypt history I always lost a lil interest lol, so thanks for that info lol

 

RIGHT?!?!? And tho like I said I am spiritual, but I'm against religions and don't believe the tales in the Bible to be 100% historic fact, this was ALWAYS my favorite Bible story frankly (and honestly it's because it was about Egypt and lets be real, religious, Christian, spiritual, Athiest, the idea of those plagues being real as a kid is FASCINATING & ENTERTAINING  :lmao:  :lmao:  :lmao: ) But yea I hope this goes on to be a "Alexander" lol, which TECHNICALLY was a success (budget of $155mil & grossed 167mil) but is viewed as a box office BOMB and all around failure. I hope this gets that. I'm so sick of this being done with things that involve ancient Egypt

 

It does go to the stereo type that Hollywood doesn't want to see a black ancient king, they want a black slave or thief or servant, things have changed but clearly not enough :sigh: .

 

:asham: I gotcha. I'm a history buff especially for the ancient world so I take personal notes on these things, lol.

 

I agree with you 100% here. I grew not to take the bible at all literally either, but all of the stories set in Egypt like part of Abraham's, Joseph, Moses, a few others and then the ones set in Persia were always the most fascinating to me. w00t: I wanted to study about them on my own time. :lmao: Seeing shit like this pisses me off. I mean even "The Prince of Egypt" pulled this off in the '90s and it was a cartoon. Why can't they do it now except for the fact that they don't want to? Bull. Nothing but bull. Funny thing is, I enjoyed "Alexander" (it could have been a lot better, but still). I do hope it does the same or less, though. THIS movie actually deserves it.

 

You're right. Just a damn shame all around, sadly. -_-

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:asham: I gotcha. I'm a history buff especially for the ancient world so I take personal notes on these things, lol.

 

I agree with you 100% here. I grew not to take the bible at all literally either, but all of the stories set in Egypt like part of Abraham's, Joseph, Moses, a few others and then the ones set in Persia were always the most fascinating to me. w00t: I wanted to study about them on my own time. :lmao: Seeing shit like this pisses me off. I mean even "The Prince of Egypt" pulled this off in the '90s and it was a cartoon. Why can't they do it now except for the fact that they don't want to? Bull. Nothing but bull. Funny thing is, I enjoyed "Alexander" (it could have been a lot better, but still). I do hope it does the same or less, though. THIS movie actually deserves it.

 

You're right. Just a damn shame all around, sadly. -_-

YAAAAAAAAAS THAT IS WHY WE'RE TWINS, truth be told I can use a refresher on alot of what I learned as a kid about Egypt, and while I was there lol.....it's too bad theres not a film coming out that can give me a accurate refresher LOL, But yea I agree, about Prince Of Egypt and honestly it is my absolute favorite movie adaptation of anything Egypt related, and it's a damn cartoon!  :lmao: And EXACTLY nothing but bull!. And also I too enjoyed Alexander, I didn't get & don't really get all the hate, I thought it was a enjoyable movie, not a fave by far, but I enjoyed it.

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Yea, I honestly REALLY like that we aren't letting this slide, like you know what, this movie might still be a success, but this backlash it's getting will hopefully still follow it whenever it's brought up. But in a best case scenerio like I said earlier, this could easily be another Alexander, and like Rey said it deserves that status more than Alexander did.

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There's 7 Cleopatra's that ruled Egypt. Which one are you talking about and why do they only make movies about the fair skinned one?

The famous one and that fame is why they do. She played a bigger historical role than her predecessors. Also, like I said, the entire Ptolemaic dynasty was white so they're white, too.

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