I’m listening, Ridley. Not that I think there could possibly be a good reason for whitewashing Moses and Rameses in Exodus: Gods and Kings. But hell, give it a shot. Wow me.
Over at Yahoo!, Scott responded to a tactfully worded question about his film’s “international cast” thusly:
“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.”
Nope. Try again. There are indeed “many different theories about the ethnicity of Egyptian people,” but I’m pretty sure one of them wasn’t “Black people were slaves and servants, but most of the important people were white.” Of the top-billed cast members on IMDB, only three of them—Indira Varma, Sir Ben Kingsley, and by his own identification (“I’m not white, let’s face it“) John Turturro are POC. There’s Aaron Paul as Joshua. And Christian Bale (Moses), Joel Edgerton (Rameses), and Sigourney Weaver (Rameses’ mother Tuya) are playing Egyptian royalty. That’s whitewashing. That’s erasing POCs from their own history, and taking roles away from actors of color in the process.
In Ridley Scott news that is possibly less likely to make you seethe, depending on your stance on sequels, the director told EW that the follow-ups to Blade Runner and Prometheus are both written. He noted that the former script is “damn good” and that “yes, [Blade Runner 2] will happen,” probably after his upcoming film The Martian, which is slated for a 2015 release. Asked about the Prometheus sequel, Scott said only that “I’ve got a lot of ducks in a row. But they’re all written.”