If you’ve seen my Twitter feed lately, you’ve probably noticed my utter shock at the casting in the latest Ridley Scott film: Exodus: Gods and Kings. The trailer was released last week.
I want to start off by saying that everyone in this film is a fabulous actor and assembling a cast like this is just amazing. They’re just not right for THIS film. This isn’t about their talent. This is about films about people of colour excluding people of colour from the action. This happened on a smaller scale in FX’s Tyrant where the lead is played by white guy, despite the character being middle eastern. Recently, Johnny Depp played a stereotypical portrayal of a native indian AND he’s not even native indian to start with. Both Prince of Persia and The Last Airbender suffer from whitewashing as well.
I could go on and on about the instances of whitewashing on screen but quite honestly I don’t have the time, temperament, or space for such a task. It’s why, when the race reversal of characters who were originally white into a person of colour sparks “outrage,” I just throw my head back and laugh bitterly. When being white stops being the default of a character’s identity, then we can talk. Otherwise, keep the privileged faux outrage to yourself.
Will I see this film? No. Why should I when it doesn’t think much about people like me? Why watch something that disrespects my existence and need to be represented in media.