Black folks being erased from history is nothing new, but when it happens in an Oscar-buzzworthy film about the Civil War in 2017, more than eyebrows will be raised.
Director Sofia Coppola is being slammed on Twitter for purposefully removing Black women from her new Confederacy movie, The Beguiled. The Oscar-winning director, who is favored to become the first woman to win Best Director at the 2018 Oscars for the film, is being accused of whitewashing her film adaptation of a book that proved to boast more diversity in its characters.
Coppola's film, which stars Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning, is being accused of leaving out a major part that remained a standout feature in the original book and the 1971 version of the story. The omitted element showed a slave who initially took care of an injured Union soldier.
Addressing the controversial decision, Coppola said she purposefully chose to concentrate on the gender dynamics of the story as opposed to the racial ones.
"Young girls watch my films and this was not the depiction of an African-American character I would want to show them," she told BuzzFeed. She later added, to the Los Angeles Times, "In the book there was a slave character... and it was treated in a very stereotypical way. It didn't seem respectful. I thought it was too big of a subject to brush over lightly, so I decided not to have that character at all."
Interestingly, there is a 1971 film adaptation of The Beguiled that is noted for dealing with the race issue pretty well. So it seems Coppola decided that, rather than take the extra steps to include well-rounded Black characters, she would rather just pretend they don't exist.
Take a look at the trailer for the film, below:
Twitter did not hesitate in expressing its collective disgust with her decision:
Looks like we're in for another interesting awards season from a race perspective. Recap the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in the BET Breaks video, above.
(Photo: Ben Rothstein / Focus Features)