How predictable. As this article’s writer sat in the Century Aurora theater viewing movie previews, the one for Gods of Egypt stood out as one which would clearly racially inflame people due to the ethnic content of the cast in a movie set in ancient Egypt, and indeed I expected it the second I saw it. And here we are. People are whining and the movie’s makers are begging forgiveness.
Oddly, a country with a minuscule Egyptian population is expected to produce a cast for a movie about Egypt with Egyptians… Or be smeared racist, of course. Or are the complainers Afrocentrists who think ancient Egypt was founded by blacks and demand a black cast? Probably the latter.
Even more oddly, when a movie is made about European legends or newer characters with historically white protagonists with a cast stocked with non-whites, the same isn’t true: I give you Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as Hercules, 2014’s Annie redo, Sam Jackson as Nick Fury in The Avengers, Whitney Houston in TV’s Cinderella, Michael B. Jordan in The Fantastic Four, Idris Elba in Thor, Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption, Will Smith in Men in Black, Michael Duncan in Daredevil, Pam Grier in Jackie Brown, Billy Dee Williams in Batman, Diana Ross in The Wiz, Queen Latifah, etc in TV’s remake of Steel Magnolias, and on it goes.
And this doesn’t count Broadway.
Casting Russell Crowe as Noah wasn’t called anti-Semitism, blacks playing whites is “breaking color barriers,” but whites playing Egyptians? Pump yo brakes, racist…
Clearly, if whites playing Egyptians is “whitewashing,” then likewise the opposite is blackwashing as well as cultural appropriation… So much for these people saying they want a cast reflective of the culture the movie is from and for it to be true to its time. Not even.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
But our duty isn’t to question it, just to conform.