- Viral video shows an egg getting a hot makeover Tuesday 7:56 PM
- New Netflix feature broadcasts what you’re watching via Instagram Tuesday 6:11 PM
- Videos show alleged Covington teens harassing women, making rape jokes at march Tuesday 4:13 PM
- MAGA teen gets ‘Today Show’ interview—and people are pissed Tuesday 3:38 PM
- Family says hacker sent fake North Korean missile warning through Nest camera Tuesday 2:42 PM
- This Arizona bill would tax internet porn to fund a border wall Tuesday 2:41 PM
- This meme is asking people how they draw the letter X Tuesday 1:18 PM
- Charlie Kirk’s love of U.S. healthcare system put to the test after back problems Tuesday 1:12 PM
- Fyre Fest caterer who was left broke has received $160,000 in donations Tuesday 12:58 PM
- The YouTuber who taught a dog to give the Nazi salute on command can’t find a job Tuesday 12:24 PM
- The ‘oh yeah yeah’ meme is flooding YouTube—and KSI can’t deal Tuesday 12:20 PM
- Did this d*ck-drawing Instagram star steal her gag from a rival runner? Tuesday 12:00 PM
- Rep. Steve King, best known for his racism, tweets a fake MLK quote Tuesday 11:54 AM
- Facebook is helping husbands ‘brainwash’ their wives with targeted ads Tuesday 11:35 AM
- Twitch streamer Pink_Sparkles responds to gamers who don’t think she belongs Tuesday 11:29 AM
Directed by Ridley Scott, Exodus: Gods and Kings stars Christian Bale as Moses, Joel Edgerton as Rhamses, and Aaron Paul as Joshua.
Remember when Noah’s screenwriter explained that everyone in his movie was white because it was “mythical,” and because white people are apparently universal stand-ins for the human race?
Yes, it was a pretty weak excuse. But Exodus: Gods and Kings looks a lot worse, since it actually is set during a specific historical time period, and yet still includes an impressive number of white American and British actors playing Egyptian and Israelite characters.
Directed by Ridley Scott, Exodus: Gods and Kings stars Christian Bale as Moses, Joel Edgerton as Rhamses, and Aaron Paul as Joshua. John Turturro and Sigourney Weaver have supporting roles as Seti and Tuya, another king and queen of Egypt. This fits in with Hollywood’s grand tradition of arbitrarily casting white actors to play people of color, which was a particular feature of classic “swords and sandals” epics like The Ten Commandments.
— Sookie Traphouse (@JamelleMyBelle) July 15, 2014
To get an idea of what this casting implies, try to imagine the outcry if a major Hollywood studio released a King Arthur film starring Idris Elba, John Cho, and Lucy Liu, with only one or two of the knights of the Round Table being played by white actors.
Except even that isn’t a fully accurate comparison, because disgruntled viewers would still have the option of watching one of the many other King Arthur adaptations already in existence. In the context of Exodus, not only are people of color being erased and replaced by the likes of Aaron Paul and Christian Bale, but it’s also virtually impossible to find a similar type of epic historical movie that stars realistic actors in the lead roles.
The A.V. Club has already described Exodus as “a whitewashed Prince of Egypt,” and many film fans are pointing out that in 2014, there is really no excuse for this type of casting. That’s where the #BoycottExodusMovie hashtag comes in.
#BoycottExodusMovie A whole movie about “Egyptians” but the whole cast is white.. Except the slaves. Smdh.
— Khryss ☮ (@eenssyrhk) July 16, 2014
— Kirby Bezan (@kirbily) July 16, 2014
#BoycottExodusMovie because I’m sick of white appropriation and the blatant erasure of POC’s history.
— Kenneth Motley (@mrkennethmotley) July 15, 2014
— 乾菓子 ¢αη∂у (@KierseyFamily) July 15, 2014
It will be interesting to see if, as with Noah, one of the filmmakers of Exodus: Gods and Kings comes forward to discuss the issue. If they do decide to comment, then look out for some of the following phrases: “best actor for the job,” “more fantasy than history,” “ancient Egyptians were pale-skinned,” and of course the old classic: “This is meant to be a universal story.”
Photo via MazMHussain/Twitter
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested.