Hollywood has been on my poop list for a while now.
I've kept my peace about the whole biblical movies situation. (As a Christian, I take personal issue when biblical stories are taken directly from the bible then manipulated into non theological live action fables and jokes of the once morale stirring inspirational versions of themselves kind of bums me out. Noah, I'm looking at you.)
However, this whole Exodus situation is just pissing me off.
A little background: Exodus is the miraculous account to how the Israelite people were delivered by God using Moses from 400 years of slavery and oppression.
Now let's take the whole theological argument out of this discussion. Let's focus on just what's going on the film's casting, shall we?
Since August, people have been in an uproar about the casting of the film, because all of the important and critical roles feature white cast members.
And since summer, the filmmakers and studios involved with the mammoth project have given every excuse in the book for why non-white faces in leading roles; from brown skin people supposedly not selling well overseas (because there no non-white actors or people other than America?); they’re (brown people) too distracting (because audiences cannot focus on a film without white people in it?), they’re tough for white audiences to relate to (because only white people are relatable to other white people?), that they’re “historically inaccurate” (because Africans and Middle Easterners don't belong in a movie about a country on the continent of Africa, right?) and so on.
Basically, what they are telling me is that they are ignoring how the Egyptians themselves depicted on the ancient walls and writings (that still survive), they are ignoring how Egyptians themselves look today, in order to paint tanner on Europeans (modern day blackface) and dare call this movie a historical depiction?
I may not like it, but a lot of films, like The Passion, Noah, and so on we're stories of brown people played by white actors. Cool. I don't love it, but fine.
Then it hit me. Not all of the cast is Caucasian. Just the main roles.
It wouldn't of been so bad if the entire cast of white, but the fact is that there were spaces for people of color, they were just slaves and servants.
You know, that's not offensive at all...
What does director Ridley Scott say in defense of his his Caucasian casting? "I can't mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such," the director told Variety Magazine. "I'm just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn't even come up."
Nice. That's not a bullshit reason. My funders forced me to be racist...Black faces don't make as much money after all.
The debate further heated when media mogul Rupert Murdoch tweeted the following over the weekend: Moses film attacked on Twitter for all white cast. Since when are Egyptians not white? All I know are.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch)
Collective gasp...Wait. It gets better.
Later, Murdoch added this: Everybody-attacks last tweet. Of course Egyptians are Middle Eastern, but far from black. They treated blacks as slaves.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch)
Wow. "...the blacks were treated as slaves"? You actually decided to type that out onto a major forum? Where is your common sense? Where is your historical perspective? At the very least, where are your PR people?
Let me give you a quick history lesson: Egypt is in AFRICA. And yes while it was a blend of many different cultures, the majority of its inhabitants were AFRICAN. Even the Israelites were Middle Eastern (meaning they were brown too) PERIOD. The end.
Mr Scott and Mr Murdoch: You cannot rewrite history because your own disgusting prejudices won't let you believe that brown people created and established one of the first, greatest, and most advanced ancient civilizations on the face of the earth. That from this culture, algebra, geometry, the sciences, medicine, and even the first Christian Church all sprang seeming obscene to you isn't anyone's fault but yours, and this film you've decided to make won't change those truths.
And yet here they are, in the film, the brilliant Euro-Egyptians and the black slaves, servants, and subordinates who served them...If someone paid you 300 million dollars, don't you think along with the details of the land, temples and other scenery, you should have researched the actual history too?
What's disappointing is that this film should have been great. It should have been a blockbuster I got to take my church ministry to, not a CGI infused whitewashing of history that is no better than its 1950's predecessor.
And we are just supposed to be okay with this? I say no.
I say anyone who is smart enough, educated enough, and human enough to see the disgusting and oh so blatant racism that is both in and surrounding this film should do something that will send a message loud and clear.
I say we put our money where our mouths are and let Mr Scott, Mr Murdoch and anyone else who justifies setting the industry back 6 decades with this film by not seeing this trash.