Ridley Scott responds to the white washing of Exodus: Gods and Kings


Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings was called racist when it was revealed that he hired white actors to play Egyptian and Hebrew characters; for example Christian Bale as Moses, Joel Edgerton as Ramses, Sigourney Weaver as Tuya, and Aaron Paul as Joshua. Hollywood has been known to cast white actors to play other nationalities, like Jake Gyllenhaal as the Prince of Persia. Another issue people had was that the main characters are white, but the slaves and the servants are black.

Scott spoke to Yahoo Australia about the casting.

“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.”

Egyptians may be diverse, but their genetic makeup didn’t have white actors getting a spray tan. As for me, I think Hollywood is just trying to cast big name actors. For example in the Jungle Book they cast Jason Scott Lee, who is of Hawaiian and Chinese descent, to play Mowgli, an Indian. Lee rose in popularity after portraying Bruce Lee in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. Since I can’t think of a famous Indian at the time, it’s likely that Hollywood wanted to go with someone who closely resembles an Indian person while still having popularity. Perhaps Scott can’t find a big name actor who looks Egyptian, so he went with the ones mentioned above.

Do you think Hollywood has a responsibility to keep things accurate, or should they be able to cast whoever they want?

Via FirstShowing

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