Gods of Egypt is the latest film to come under fire for rewriting history in favor of white folks ruling Africa (see also: Exodus: Gods and Kings).
However, rather than take Exodus director Ridley Scott's defiant stance that a film set in Africa starring actual people of color would never work, the filmmakers behind Gods of Egypt are apologizing for angering people with their whitewashing.
"The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse," said director Alex Proyas, who picked the Machine Gun Preacher's Gerard Butler (both pictured above, L-R), Mad Max's Courtney Eaton, and Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau for the swords-and-sandals epic.
He continued, "I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made."
Added Lionsgate, the studio that produced the movie, "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."
Twitter wasted no time jumping on the filmmakers for making ancient Egypt look like Western Europe. Ava DuVernay summed up our thoughts the best:
Even Bette Midler — really? — felt the need to weigh in:
While these apologies are likely completely self-interested (pissing off Black Twitter has proven to be bad for business), they're still a step in the right direction. Now, if the whitewashing of Black, African, Middle Eastern, Native American, Asian and other cultures could just stop altogether, that would be the real win.
Gods of Egypt is slated to theatres in February 2016.
(Photos from left: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images, Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
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