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Ridley Scott Addresses Whitewashed Cast of 'Exodus: Gods and Kings'

by
August 27, 2014
Source: Yahoo AU

Ridley Scott

If you watched the trailer for Ridley Scott's latest film Exodus: Gods and Kings and found yourself annoyed by the whitewashed lead cast of the Biblical epic that takes place in Egypt, you're not the only one. There's been quite the outcry against the casting of Australian actor Joel Edgerton as Pharaoh Ramses II and British actor Christian Bale as Moses, and that's only been made worse since it's been revealed that a slew of black actors are playing servants, thieves and lower class civilians. And now, Ridley Scott himself has addressed the controversy, but hasn't really defended against the concerns being raised. Read more below!

If you don't understand the issue at hand, here are a couple of tweets that lay it out simply:

Australia Yahoo (via The Film Stage) asked Scott about this issue and the director said:

"Egypt was – as it is now – a confluence of cultures, as a result of being a crossroads geographically between Africa, the Middle East and Europe. We cast major actors from different ethnicities to reflect this diversity of culture, from Iranians to Spaniards to Arabs. There are many different theories about the ethnicity of the Egyptian people, and we had a lot of discussions about how to best represent the culture."

While there are surely some theories about the Egyptian population and their roots, I don't think any of them have pegged the Egyptian people as looking like white actors with tanning spray. Now obviously Scott and the studio went with these big names, regardless of their race, in order to bring in an audience, but it begs the question as to whether this is disrespectful to actors who otherwise should be playing these roles because of their ethnicity. It's not quite the same affront to race as a white person wearing blackface would be, but there are those who are still just as offended and angered by Hollywood's whitewashing tactics. Could this film finally bring the issue to light enough to make a change? Thoughts?

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  • Chris Groves
    I've got a bad feeling about this movie.
    • DAVIDPD
      I think it will be panned in theaters, but will find legs on video.
  • Stephen Ritchie
    "There are many different theories about the ethnicity of the Egyptian people", yeah and one thing for sure is that they weren't white! Scott stop trying to defend your bullshit. We know you just casted the most popular actors people know today just to draw an audience in. Yeah who the heck would want to watch an accurate movie about Moses. Everyone else can simply be a side character including the majority of the coloured actors. The only reason why a film such as Ben-Hur gets a pass is because of the time the film was made in it was very uncommon. This is the 21st century, there is no excuse now. So stop the racist crap and get with the accuracy. Christian Bale as Moses, what a joke.
    • VoiceOfReason
      Did you really just say coloured... 8O
      • Stephen Ritchie
        What?
        • VoiceOfReason
          “colored” harkens back to an era of exclusion, a time when Jim Crow was in full force, and blacks used water fountains marked “colored” and sat in the “colored” sections of busses, beaches and restaurants. In essence, the term stirs up painful memories.
          • Stephen Ritchie
            I was referring to people of multiple ethnicities apart from whites not just blacks when I said colored! What are you going to call me a racist now just because I didn't say "other ethnicities". It's the same thing.
          • VoiceOfReason
            It doesn't seem you are trying to be racist but maybe unaware of how certain words can be offensive.
          • http://embracing-the-obvious.tumblr.com/ ChristianPasquariello
            Guess he missed the last PC update.
          • DAVIDPD
            Damn Steam.
          • Peter T'Sas
            Words are only offensive if they are spoken offensive, not when they are interpreted offensive. Get some therapy.
          • DAVIDPD
            Some words, yes. I can think of at least four, that read extremely poorly regardless of being read or spoken.
  • jay
    Well, I guess i cant say im upset about the fact that people are finally taking notice of racial inaccuracy in film, but where was this outcry with the recent Noah film?? or the recent nativity story? Or how in every movie about a racial minority, an a list white actor is always still the lead??? (The Help, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, etc.) This isnt the first time this has been an issue, guys.
    • Daniel Sillitto
      This is different, in your examples the white characters were written into the story as white characters. Here ethnic characters were just changed to be white.
      • jay
        Thats definitely a fair point, I think its still just related to how the industry tends to use white leads incorrectly, whether it be inaccurate historically or inappropriate thematically as the case with the examples I used, to appeal to a white american audience.
        • Daniel Sillitto
          I agree, it's always the white male (more often than not) American that saves the day.
    • Rags2Righteous
      I actually did have an issue with the white representation in "Noah". As a black woman (and someone who believes in the Bible, as well), I was disappointed that the image portrayed in "Noah" was that the ancestors of present-day people were all white, and a very specific type of white person: British (although that people group and nation did not exist at that time, but I digress). Even if we cannot fully know what the characters looked and sounded like, the bigger issue is that a lot of white people have the *privilege* of not considering race at all, and that seeing themselves on the big screen (and anywhere else in media) is the norm. I am not making this a black vs. white problem, but the larger concern is that people of color are often told that they don't matter, that they are cry babies when addressing social injustice in the media, and that they should just go make *their own* movies. That latter point suggests to me that white folks are in fact claiming the film industry as *their own*, and thus, it has no place for people of color. That's a tragedy, and I'm frankly tired of having to explain why people of color should want to see themselves represented properly.
  • NathanDewey
    I'm not very familiar with the story so I personally don't find it to be a big deal. Maybe because I'm ignorant and don't know how much it hurts people to see their race being misrepresented. I'll be seeing it regardless because I really like what I saw in the trailer and I generally like Scott's movies. I would rather see how the servants, and lower class citizens are handled in the movie, before I comment on the black actors being cast in those roles. There might be a point or a social message in there or a commentary on class, or not, I don't know. I won't be boycotting it.
    • Why?
      A really good social message would be to cast this film, like we live in a world, that understands it's history.
  • Brian Sleider
    There may be theories as to what ethnicity the Egyptians were, but I doubt any of them include that they were European/White.
    • DAVIDPD
      Yeah. He was being silly.
  • Xerxexx
    Who cares. Good actors were cast.
    • Whatintheduece
      For one thing, it's difficult to see past how ridiculous they look to get to the "good" part.
      • Xerxexx
        But not impossible.
    • Have Hope
      did you see Bale in Terminator Salvation?
      • Xerxexx
        Fuck everyone sucked in that letdown.
    • KelVintage
      You are a racist moron.
      • Xerxexx
        Was wondering when you would show up with this useless comment. You didn't disappoint.
  • Xerxexx
    I get why there is/would be an uproar...but honestly I'd rather see good and talented actors...you know to enjoy the movie.
    • Brian Sleider
      SO there are not talented ethnic actors? Of course there are and I know you know that. This has every thing to do with having a big name on the poster and nothing to do with ethnic dispersion theories.
      • Xerxexx
        Honestly it would be refreshing to get an all ethnic cast for a big budget movie but that is very unlikely. Studios would never greenlight it.
        • JBrotsis
          I'm totally onboard with what you're saying. You're not insulting anyone disagreeing with article, you're simply saying you'd prefer to watch a good movie with actors that have a history of performing great than compared to others that don't. Even if Scott cast all ethnically correct roles...if they suck or have a history of performing badly, why cast them in the first place.
          • Daniel Sillitto
            Cause only white actors are good? Well the ethnic actors were "good" enough to play slaves. Lucky them.
          • Xerxexx
            Well said.
        • Phill Lytle
          Example: Apocalypto. It was made using an all ethnic cast. Only earned $50 million US and $70 internationally. Cost: $40 million to make. Probably at least another $40 million to market. Directed by Mel Gibson - coming off of his most successful film to date - The Passion of the Christ. So yeah, it made a little bit of money. But it was not the kind of success that a movie like Exodus needs to be considering it's budget will be astronomically greater. Hence: Bigger and more well known stars for Exodus.
          • Xerxexx
            Exactly. Apocalypto was an excellent movie and an all ethnic cast can work but this is Ridley Scott and Exodus needs the star power to get asses in the seats.
  • DAVIDPD
    LOL. What a stupid thing to say Mr. Scott. You simply cast White actors because they were the best for the job.
    • Jane Vain
      Sigourney Weaver to play an African Queen. Come on not even an Arab. Christian Bale is from Wales!!!!!!! Ancient Egyptian art. Majority of the wall paintings show them as at least VERY tan if not obviously black. What's the next film. Bruce Lee played by...............Brad Pitt.
      • Steven
        An Australian playing a Spaniard...
  • Whatintheduece
    Another issue I have with this casting of huge actors is that it purposefully places that much more scrutiny on them that it's impossible not to see the Hollywood star. It doesn't appear to make any sense in this film to risk how fake making-up actors can potentially be. They don't seem to need it for story purposes; this isn't something like what Cloud Atlas did. It just seems like blatant Hollywood gimmickry, a ploy to attract viewership.
  • nate
    Scott always has some of the best looking pictures... in any case, i'll be waiting for Scott's Director's Cut version. It always seems to be better than the theatrical.
  • http://www.roamandthink.com/ Quanah
    Interesting. That is all.
  • mooreworthy
    Being multiracial, I didn't really care about the make up of the cast until this article. That bothers me that blacks are just the slaves.I understand about getting big names to fill seats, but if Ridley and the studios just went after white actors only thinking they can only be big names, then screw this film. Most of the folks here who I've had the pleasure of agree or disagreeing with don't base movies solely on faces, but on the story as well. That's why, for the past few years,I have more independent films in my collection than blockbusters; stop thinking we are a bunch of muppets and catch up with the human race.
  • Mihkel
    Wow the offended race begins again.
  • http://djkento.com/ Kento
    My thoughts are this... leave Prince of Egypt out of it since the entire production team was white, the cast is mostly white with a few actors of Jewish heritage and few black actors in the mix, but like literally 99% white. Christian Bale isn't ok but Val Kilmer as Moses is? Oh it's because they drew him as a brown man? Ok... I get it.
  • Jameson Cyr
    It's called ACTING. Take you're political correctness and shove it up your ass.
    • blackdreamhunk
      this story is about black and was created by black people
    • R3last
      Give me the same argument when you read message boards about Michael B. Jordan playing the Human Torch it cuts both ways.
      • Why?
        PREACH!!!!
      • Jameson Cyr
        I'm psyched about the new fantastic four and the entire cast, the only people who are racist are people who are offended by the race of actors who are hired to act.
        • CandiApple
          That's not being racist, that just us wanting fairness represented in Hollywood. It's been going on for a long time, and not just for blacks. Anyone remember Mickey Rooney's role in Breakfast at Tiffanys?
    • KelVintage
      Man, you must have loved Idris Elba as Heimdall. Racist asshole.
      • Jameson Cyr
        I DID love Idris in that role because he is an awesome ACTOR.
        • DAVIDPD
          It was a bit curious seeing the Japanese Asgardian though...I mean his acting was...
    • Xerxexx
      Agreed.
  • Peter T'Sas
    Nonsens. The director chooses who plays what. No need for political correctness, thank you. Plenty of Black actors in major roles everywhere. Great actors! But maybe not for these roles according to Scott. His choice and no-one else's.
    • Xerxexx
      This.
    • James Ball
      Plenty of black actors in major roles everywhere? Is this a joke?
      • Peter T'Sas
        Oh, do I have to apologise dor NOT watching movies that don't have black leads now? You see, I don't give a fnck. I don't believe in artificial equilibrium. I don't believe in political correctness. I appreciate black actors as much as white if they do a good job. The rest is not my concern.
        • James Ball
          What you should be concerned about is your complete disconnect from reality. Approximately only about 14% of films in 2013 had a person of color in them. Not as a lead, but as ANY character including non-speaking roles. So for you to say that there are black actors in major roles everywhere is not only a joke but a complete fabrication. So apparently not wanting Hollywood to continue being racist and wanting them to mirror their world with the diverse reality of ours is "political correctness"? Of course you don't care. You're a privileged white dude who gets to turn on the tv, go to the movies, and always see people who look like you. So you don't give a damn about diversity. Everyone else, however, does. So maybe you should just be quiet next time this is being discussed since, you know, it's "none of your concern".
          • Peter T'Sas
            My dear fellow, in a democracy, everybody gets their say. You may not like it, but since I am not displaying any insults to anyone, there should be no objection. I am not the kind of guy who cares about everything from behind his TV. I don't even have one, because I consider it poison since it is not objective. If I care about something, I try to do something about it, but it is impossible for any human being to care about everything, so I limit my concerns to those things I can actively affect. Since I live in Thailand, racism really is no part of that. So forgive me for not licking your boots, and go on with your life : instead of criticising others about what they say or do without having a clue who they are, go out and do something useful.
  • Swanland
    Well, if it's based on the bible, it's amalgamated fiction anyway. Who cares who plays the roles in a cultural myth? How many people think this is a legit retelling of history anyway?
    • JBrotsis
      Not a myth
    • Daniel Sillitto
      Yet all the slaves are still black?
    • R3last
      Yet people didn't like that argument when Idris Elba was cast as Heimdal in Thor? I understand, it's only okay when you replace people of color, because there are so few roles for white actors . /sarcasm
    • SkyNet300
      Mmmmmm I love logic as well:)
  • Grizzled
    I am a huge Ridley Scott fan, and plan to see this film! Without the political issues for all like films, what kind of "risk" would it be for a film company to "green-light" an ethical and enthical story? Seems that only films on native americans, and american slavery are appropriate! It like we're back in early cinema! There are tons of great actors, world wide, to closer fill the historical value! If a movie about Hawaiian King Kamehameha had cast a white actor, polynesians would go berserk! (A great roll Dwayne Johnson?)
  • Lee Seymour
    Its a business and Bale is a "name" so is "Egerton" if they cast unknowns for this would the audience have seen this? Yes its Scott's name on the film but no big actor name no larger audience.. oh yeaone more thing ITS JUST A FUCKING MOVIE! DID ANYONE COMPLAIN ABOUT CHARLTON HESTON? or YUL BRENNER back in the day?????? No The Ten Commandments is a classic!
    • JBrotsis
      I think people would still see the film even if it didn't have big "name" actors in it. Look at Thor when it first came out, no one knew who Chris Hemsworth was unless you saw his 10 minutes of fame as Kirk's father in the beginning of JJ Abrams "Star Trek". But with a comic following fan base of Thor and with it being a movie never made (to my knowledge) people still went. A true, live action Moses story hasn't been seen since long ago when they did "The Ten Commandments" so yes, with both fans of the original and biblical followers (though they'll probably be the ones to rant more about how accurate it is to the Bible like with "Noah") I believe you'll still get a strong showing no matter who is casted. White, brown, tan, big name, no name, whatever. Plus it's an epic story!
    • Have Hope
      Ridley Scott doing ANYTHING related to the times of Gladiator will bring in the crowd...FACT
    • James Ball
      If he doesn't want to do a movie without big named white actors, then he shouldn't do one about ancient egypt.
  • http://www.twitter.com/Gaz1a Gazwan Aldafai
    I'm Iraqi, but you find me a big named Arab star who you can put on a billboard so you can sell this film and I'll give you a trillion dollars. This issue is a wider problem about the lack of Middle Eastern actors in Hollywood, not the fact that Ridley Scott wanted to make a film that people would actually see.
    • VAharleywitch
      Fair enough - though there's several Israeli actors who have some recognition (Oded Fehr, Gil Gadot come quickly to mind). Oded Fehr (and his "Mummy" & ResEvil co-star, Asrnold Vosloo as well) are names that make me & several of my geek friend perk up with interest. And several actors who might be non "Arab" or "Israeli", but at least have a swarthier complexion than Sigourney or Bale. I think that's where some of the outrage lies as well. Not just that they're not from that region, but tend towards the Aryan side of white.
      • Hurley Jordan
        exactly
  • JBrotsis
    Wow, this controversial article has really brought in some commenters I don't recognize.
    • Stephen Ritchie
      Are you seriously bringing TH in this? SMH, TH was a comedy, it wasn't based on history or an actual time period. It was just some stupid goofy comedy, it has nothing to do with this topic of accurately casting people from an exact time period that happened in real history.
      • JBrotsis
        Joke. It's called a joke. Way to ruin a comment on the lighter side of things.
      • SkyNet300
        Well "real history" is a stretch lol Hell I part the sea every Friday. It's super fun
  • Jane
    People are so idiotic... what about The Ten Commandments??!!! That movie is whitewash too, save Yul Brynner as Ramses. And that movie is a CLASSIC.
    • Stephen Ritchie
      The Ten Commandments was made in the 1950s. Do you think it would have been common or normal to have the majority of the main cast be of other ethnicities in such a major Hollywood film in that exact time frame? We have moved on from those times.
    • Daniel Sillitto
      So, where is your point? Because another movie made the same mistake it's all good?
  • blackdreamhunk
    The ancient Hebrews and the ancient egyptains are not white people they are black!
    • Stephen Ritchie
      Hollywood could really learn a thing or two from people like you. Thank you good sir.
    • backwardsprogress
      LOL dream on buddy. Unless of course you are calling everyone who is not considered "white" black. If anything we know that Egypt was a varied mix and so were the Hebrew people. I'm surprised they didn't cast some famous arab looking and israeli actors to play the parts since there are so many. Christian Bale could pass looking like a Hebrew. The others however... WTF?
      • blackdreamhunk
        not in that time period Ancient Egypt began in 3500 B.C. Ancient Egypt was first invaded by the Hyskos in 1700 B.C. The Hyskos were kicked out 100 years later in 1600 B.C. Ancient Egypt wasn't occupied again until 728 B.C. by The Nubians (modern day Sudan). Then the Assyrians (outsiders) came next, followed by The Persians, then the Greeks, then the Romans at the turn of the millennium (30 B.C.) Finally, the Arabs conquered Egypt indefinitely in 642 A.D. The people you see in Egypt today are NOT the people who lived there 5,000 years ago. The Egypt that the entire world is fascinated by.....the PEAK/PRIME period of Ancient Egypt was the New Kingdom (King Tut, Ahmose, Amenhotep, Hatshepsut).....this period was from 1600 BC to 1000 BC.....1000 years before Europeans came and 2,000 years before Arabs came. THEY WERE BLACK. DEAL WITH IT. "
      • blackdreamhunk
        Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus (56-118 A.D.) had these thoughts on the origins and customs of the Hebrews, as the Romans prepared to destroy Jerusalem Quote:. Many, again, say that they were a race of Ethiopian origin, who in the time of king Cepheus were driven by fear and hatred of their neighbours to seek a new dwelling-place. Others describe them as an Assyrian horde who, not having sufficient territory, took possession of part of Egypt, and founded cities of their own in what is called the Hebrew country, lying on the borders of Syria.
        • backwardsprogress
          Poor reading and context. Read before and after text. People were questioning where the Jews came from. In the paragraph from which you got your quote, it was questions if the Jews came from multiple backgrounds or locations, not just the one you stated above. Your statement above has nothing to do with race.
          • blackdreamhunk
            I never knew cush was in europe! Zephaniah 3 :10 From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring me offerings. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants,[even] the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.
      • blackdreamhunk
        "Tacitus,the Roman historian of 90 A.D., says that the Romans of his day popularly believed that the Jews, which then abounded in Europe, came from Ethiopia, the land of the Blacks Zephaniah 3 :10 From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring me offerings. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants,[even] the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. Lamentations 4:8 Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.Lamentations 5:10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine. Exd 2:19 And they said, An Egyptian(speakin of Moses) delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew [water] enough for us, and watered the flock. Explain how an ISRAELITE is mistaken as a son of HAM if they didn't look alike? Then 2000+ years later Acts 21:37-38 Shaul(Paul) a Hebrew mistaken as an Egyptian... So explain how SHEM's seed and HAM's didn't look alike? Google ancient Hebrews or ancient Hebrew dreadlocks click images and you see what the ancient Hebrews looked like!
        • backwardsprogress
          Again, poor reading and context. In all the verses provided, you are injecting race and missing the context of the verse.
      • blackdreamhunk
        Testimony of Classical Greek and Roman Historians Virtually all of the early Latin eyewitnesses described the ancient Egyptians as black-skinned with woolly hair. Several ancient Greek historians noted that Egyptians and Ethiopians had complexions that were “melanchroes,” which most scholars translate as black, while some scholars translate it as “dark” or “dark skinned.” Some of the most-often quoted historians are Diodorus Siculus and Herodotus. According to most translations, Herodotus wrote that a Greek oracle was known to be from Egypt because she was “black,” that the natives of the Nile region are “black with heat,’ and that Egyptians were “black skinned with woolly hair.” Diodorus Siculus wrote that the Ethiopians considered the Egyptians their colony. Lucian observes an Egyptian boy and notices that he is not merely black, but has thick lips. Appollodorus called Egypt the country of the black-footed ones. Aeschylus, a Greek poet, wrote that Egyptian seamen had “black limbs.” Gaston Maspero states that “by the almost unanimous testimony of ancient [Greek] historians, they [ancient Egyptians] belonged to the African race, which settled in Ethiopia.”
        • Hurley Jordan
          Thank You sir for accurately portraying history.If you go anywhere else in the world this is reflected except america.Hmmm makes you wonder.Let me ask one question,well three actually.How in the hell you going to been 100% white in the desert?Second question how in the hell you going to tell me folks coming out a nation inside Africa are not Black prior to colonization?Third why would there need to be colonization in a place you're already occupying or the people resemble you?
      • blackdreamhunk
        what did Jesus look like according to the scripture. who wrote the Torah. What is the likely hood of their pigmentation? Did they look like the people that are in Israel now?
        • backwardsprogress
          He most likely had an arabic look about him. I'm sure they were darker than common day Hebrews because of the different lifestyle we live today than 2000 years ago.
          • blackdreamhunk
            no Arabs sorry
    • Randall Miller
      Not all Lad. I have tapestry pending posts from CB from 3rd Century AD. As my Wife is Hebrew actually she says Mr. Bale looks pretty close. One of the ancient taps they have same haircut.
  • avconsumer2
    Waaahh!!! It's a movie. Whatevs. If somebody doesn't like it, don't see it!? OR... make your own friggin' movie. I'll probably Netflix it just to see if it's good enough to make me forget all this whining.
    • CandiApple
      So is Fantastic Four, but that doesn't stop the "Why is a black guy playing Johnny Storm?" whining. But I guess it's only okay if whites are playing black characters...right?
  • Have Hope
    Sorry.....white dudes with TANNING spray? Film looks great, but I think I'll pass
  • Swanland
    I'm more offended by their butchery of the laws of physics and fluid dynamics.
  • Why?
    What really sucks is, as a mixed race actor, I probably would've accepted the roles and been thrilled to play a slave cause...that's life?
  • Liam Knurtsis
    i wonder what the Prince of Persia director would say about "We cast major actors from different ethnicities to reflect this diversity of culture, from Iranians to Spaniards to Arabs" they know better and this may actually hurt some pretty good actors and actresses in this movie
  • backwardsprogress
    While I agree that the casting is odd and there is no dispute in that - specifically Joel and Weaver and Aaron Paul (WTF), but the black guys mentioned in the tweet all play non slave roles. Way to over exaggerate!
  • Steven
    I seriously doubt race even crossed his mind when casting. This is a storm in a tea cup that's been raised and shouldn't be given the time of day.
    • Daniel Sillitto
      Well according to the man himself, they did discuss race but decided to go with white actors anyway. So you're wrong.
      • Steven
        After the question of race was raised in an interview..........believe what you like, but he's hardly going to turn round and see he couldn't care less and picked actors on ability.
    • Rags2Righteous
      If race was not discussed during casting (which it was), then this *should* be given the time of day. Is everything an issue of race? Not at all. But to take a story that has a very specific historical and geographical context and purposely choose people who are not representative of said context is irresponsible. I understand the idea of hiring the "best" person for the job. But for many people of color, it is a reality that they are not even in the running for best because of an a certain physical and cultural ideal. This is part of white privilege, not having to consider race at all and thinking that you are the norm.
      • Steven
        I personally don't believe my colour is the "norm" and believe we are all part of a rich and diverse human race. While aware of the harsh realities of the world I do not believe Ridley Scott to be a racist and stand by my belief his casting choices were made on both talent and box office draw. The latter being a demand created by the general public, though I concede this can be manipulated through the selection of high profile roles.
        • Rags2Righteous
          When I said "thinking that *you* are the norm," I wasn't at all implying you as an individual, or making it personal. It was the collective *you* as in *one*, or even in this case, Ridley. :-) I also did not call him a racist, but I do believe that as a white male, he consequently possesses this privilege (in US society). A side note: I don't understand why some people have such a problem when people of color mention that they are not represented or are marginalized? I get it that some people "cry wolf" in life, but EVERYONE? C'mon... this is one of the reasons why people of color get angry, because even those who claim to be colorblind and care about the human race as a whole don't actually seem to listen to the individuals and groups who report not being represented well. It's a privilege to tell people how they should feel, and whether or not they are making mountains out of molehills. The people who are offended by the lack of racial and ethnic representation in this movie have a right to be.
          • Steven
            TBH I wasn't sure if you were implying Ridley was a racist for not casting the correct ethnic race. While I understand people have a right to express their views, I just don't think it's understood that the roles are given on as much the actors box office draw as the talent. Let's face it, Ridley's had a bit of a dry run lately, picking Bale for example would be deemed a 'safe' move (though as Terminator Salvation showed, a poor script and direction can still kill a movie). I honestly believe the casting is due to money considerations and not race. Outrage on the misrepresentation would be better focused upon the history books and what is taught in classrooms. A film comes and goes, with even classics not often viewed by the public. A change needs to be made at the grass roots within education, making a song and dance over a movie is not the correct attention the debate needs.
          • Rags2Righteous
            I hear what you're saying. But change does not just happen in formal education... it happens wherever people are, and some of those people happen to either make films or watch them. History books are not separate from real life events that... will eventually be history. Also, your comment of "making a song and a dance" seems condescending and belittling for the voices who are offended, including for the individuals working in the film industry whose craft and artistry is part of their involvement in social justice. We will just have to agree to disagree.
          • Steven
            Making a 'song and dance' implies a 'storm in a tea cup', more of an issue than is needed in terms of a movie being made to make money. I can understand how your upset on that POV, but then we are all guilty of speaking out of turn. The label of 'you' in your first reply for example, some two months after my original comment. Hollywood is still a white majority industry, catering for a white majority population, just as Bollywood is catering for Indian demand. It's all about the money...
  • marccoogs
    The main problem, is that they chose to cast only white European actors in all of the main speaking roles, and gave them spray tans and makeup to pass them off as Egyptians, as if they ran out of actual actors of color to play those roles. In movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, green, blue, and pink people dont exist, thus the need for the actors to wear makeup to change their race. For Exodus, actual brown and black people exist in the world, so there is no excuse to cast white people in these main roles, other than the fact that they could sell more tickets with these white actors. Maybe that is the excuse to why it happened, but its still doesn't make it right.
  • http://colormebacon.com/ Nick Sears
    Since we're letting the suspension of disbelief do it's work with the biblical moments of hail, blood strewn rivers and splitting rivers, I'll continue to let it do it's job with the actors. Haven't even touched on the religious aspects of the film and people are already up in arms. Chill folks. They had a Russian playing the Pharaoh back in the 50s version - did you care as much then??
  • cobrazombie
    Meh, people will just watch this to see God blow stuff up.
  • SkyNet300
    Hollywood has been racist since the beginning of film so why would this film be any different? Lol seriously all the big A-listers are all white. How many Asian actors are the stars in a big budget movie? What's that? None? Yep that's what I thought. It's just the way of the business sad to say.
  • SkyNet300
    Hopefully one day it'll change but not now.
    • Daniel Sillitto
      No of course it won't change if people find it so okay and normal.
  • John Doe
    As a black man the only thing that really "offends me" is that it's basically a live action rehash of Prince of Egypt. Also 99.9% of religion is fiction anyway so I really don't care all that much.
  • David Diaz
    I'm not white and I could care less what color skin the actors have as long as they can bring the role to life successfully. Do people care that Al Pacino wasn't Cuban in Scarface? This is only a controversy because the press chooses to focus on the vocal minority on the internet.
    • SwannyZone1_5
      That's because scarface isn't real
      • David Diaz
        Think you missed the point of my comment. Regardless of whether the character is from history or not, it still shouldn't be a big deal what color skin they have as long as they bring the role to life in a great way. Do you know of a lot of amazing Egyptian actors to fill all the main roles? I sure don't, and neither did the casting directors. So they went with talent and gave them tans to pass for Egyptians. Big deal. That's all I'm saying. Also, I'm not sure where the proof of Moses' or Ramses' skin color comes from but ok.
        • SwannyZone1_5
          Yes it should matter what color the character is because if the character is black in real life but white in the movie that is a blatent distortion of history. the actors don't necessarily have to be Egyptian but they should at least b black as the ancient Egyptians depicted themselves through their art. exodus chapter 4 verses 6 n 7 depict Moses as a black man if u were wondering where the proof was
          • mph1959
            I'm not to sure it's trying to be massively historically accurate, more concentrating on being bloody good entertainment and looking amazing which it does, they've picked actors and actresses they know can do what they want, like Sigourney Weaver, some one Ridley Scott knows and has worked with ,Oscar Isaacs apparently turned now Ramses and he's not exactly white not like they have a list of white actors they might happen to have a list of good reliable popular actors but hay maybe they should go out to egypt and pick. What I also don't get oh it's different as it's a historical real life character, so Henry the VI of England looked like David Oyelowo?
          • SwannyZone1_5
            Lol massively historically accurate? Portraying the characters to what they really looked like in real life sounds like the basis to me. I wouldn't consider that being massively historically accurate, that's the easy part. don't you think being historically accurate AND being bloody good entertainment makes for a better movie? instead of one without the other. not only would it be fun to watch, the viewer would be learning something as well. if you watched the movie as it is without knowing the real history, the viewer would be misinformed. also the Egypt today is not like ancient Egypt. Ancient Egypt was inhabited by pure africans. the Egypt today is inhabited by mostly Arabs and palestinians. idk about ur reference to henry of england
    • SwannyZone1_5
      Ramses was a real black pharoh n ppl consider Moses to b real. Moses was black as well
      • Bomb Gaza
        Moses was far from black matter of fact if you read the Hebrew bible it clearly states that Moses married a black woman a Cushi which in hebrew refers to black from the tribe of Cush. Moses sister Miriam and his brother Aron laughed at Moses for taking a different race wife and Miriam was punished by God for disrespecting Moses. There is nothing in the entire bible which indicates that the ancient Israelites were black, the Jews in Israel today are the children of the Israelites, to deny this is to deny God it's as though you are saying God made a mistake cause the State of Israel is nothing short of a miracle, what Israel became in 60 years no nation surrounding it has achieved till this day.
  • blackdreamhunk
    correct these real images of ancient Hebrews
  • Luis Aviles
    I bet the movie is going to be good,and all of the stupid boycott cry babies are going to see it and like it secretly,people make me sick!
    • roami
      Maybe people like you are going to see it and like it. Me?! I'm sticking to Aliens. Hey!!! Ripley's in it!!
      • Luis Aviles
        i gotta watch it 1st,but you're right ,Alien is awesome!
  • Hurley Jordan
    How in the hell do you get white from that?They are in the desert.Even if you wanted to go with that,the region and continent is AFRICA!!!I just do not understand why white try and claim everything.If he was white how and the hell would he been able to blend in with the royalty from Cush bka Egypt?This is baseless and is pure fiction
    • Randall Miller
      Check yourself Mate...I was not the one who said "white"....I provided tapestry from 3 AM and my Wife being a member of the tribe. Bollox.... So bugger off!
  • Derrick Opurum
    The race and ethnicity of the characters in Prince of Egypt wasn't as historically accurate, either. Back in those days, most of Egypt was a mixture of brown and black skin tones. Both movies were wrong.
  • Jason
    So what? Just about every alien you see has human features (one head, arms, legs, 2 eyes, nose etc. ) to make them more acceptable to movie goers but one complains about that.
  • Zak Coleman
    Yet we cast black actors as traditionally white characters all the time......
    • Jane Vain
      Like what. Marvel Comics. When Idris Elba plays Henry VIII then we can complain.
      • Ashlea Marshall
        I don't know, I think he'd be incredible in a role like that- Elba's a cut above most actors today!
        • Jane Vain
          So you wouldn't mind Elba play a history/real white person? I wouldn't mind, but many would complain. In this film, Egypt looks as if it's inhabitants were from Norway is a joke.
          • Ashlea Marshall
            Nah, not at all. People would complain under the guise of 'historical accuracy', but we all know it would actually be a bit of racism talking I think. Speaking of Shakespeare though, I saw an incredible production of Julius Caesar that had an all-black cast and oh man, it was insane; just wonderful. Alas, people complained of course but the quality won out in the end and most agreed how good a performance it was.
          • Jane Vain
            I heard about that. I guess with theatre it would be fine. However, Hollywood does WAY too much white washing in an already low African representation as it is. So I think the complaints about Exodus are valid. It reminds me of those who complain about "Hunger Games " movie even though, in the book the character are black.
    • CandiApple
      Actually, you need to research more on cinema history...not current cinema. Once you do, you will see that your comment makes no since.
  • Mik3one5
    Yea, because that hasn't faded since it was made 2 millennia ago.
  • yuppy
    I was looking forward to this movie but it will be hard to get over the ridiculous white wash characters. Why...why...why Scott? They might as will put Ashkenazi jews as the major roles-maybe Henry Kessinger could be Moses?
  • Rags2Righteous
    3rd Century AD... but Moses was not alive during that time, so this cannot be considered a "photograph" of the real man. :-)

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