Hollywood’s forthcoming Moses movie – Exodus: Gods and Kings – isn’t in cinemas yet but it has still come in for renewed criticism, this time over the decision to cast white actors to play Egyptians.
Directed by Ridley Scott, the movie stars Christian Bale as Moses, Aaron Paul as Joshua, Sigourney Weaver as Tuya and Joel Edgerton as Rhamses.
On Twitter, the hashtag #boycottexodusmovie has been trending, with posters expressing their anger over the casting decisions.
One person tweeted” ‘#BoycottExodusMovie because it is a blunt disregard of historic facts!’
Another added: ‘Blacks only cast as slaves, thieves…Not the Kings and Queens? I hope @ExodusMovie bombs at the box office..’
‘It burns me that the #ExodusMovie look so good, but Hollywood has white-washed the cast! I will not be watching,’ wrote another.
Scott was bullish about the issue recently when he told Variety that casting was a business decision.
‘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’ Scott said.
‘I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.’
In August he had assured fans that the film would represent ‘a confluence of cultures’.
‘We cast major actors from different ethnicities to reflect the diversity of culture, from Iranians to Spaniards to Arabs,’ he told Yahoo.
The cast includes a number of actors of color, including Ben Kingsley, Dar Salim and Indira Varma, as well as others in minors roles including as servants.
The Hollywood Diversity Report, published earlier this year shows that only 11 per cent of films cast an ethnic minority actor in a lead role while ethnic minority actors make up just 10 per cent of the cast in the majority of movies.
Scott’s film has already got into hot water with religious groups, after Bale described his character as ‘barbaric’ and ‘schizophrenic’.
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