A film set in Africa with no Black main cast…hmm…
Is Ridley Scott’s “Exodus” Film Racist?
By now you’ve probably heard about Ridley Scott’s film adaptation of the Biblical Moses story, “Exodus.” But you may not have noticed the way in which Hollywood has gone out of its way to dip this fully-African tale into a cinematic vat of Whitenicious.
Peep what one writer has to say about this film’s casting and not-so-thinly-veiled attempt to weave white heroic-ism into an exclusively-African tale. Via Medium.com
I went to see Get On Up and there was a preview for Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods And Kings movie about Moses’ story in the Bible. The first thing I noticed was that all the main characters are White. Moses is White. The Pharaoh is White. Tuya is super White and Joshua is Jesse Pinkman. Not only are these characters who are supposed to be Africans White, they’re not even remotely tan. They’re pearly White. Christian Bale is Moses, a former slave in Egypt who was using SPF infinity sunscreen because he’s still Gotham City White. You can convince me that a guy can shake a staff and make it rain locusts but I refuse to believe someone who grew up in Egypt in the sun doesn’t have a tan at least. But this is all Hollywood stuff, right? White guys are always cast in these roles and we’re all here to throw praise on a cast full of White guys no matter where or when they live. It would have been annoying enough if Scott stopped there. But look at the rest of the cast:
Not only are all the main characters White, but the servants, thieves and assassins are played by Africans. Guys. This is racist. Ridley Scott is one of those guys who’s apparently hellbent on historical accuracy but doesn’t care enough to cast a person of color as Moses or a damn African queen while simultaneously filling out the rest of the movie with Black servants and thieves. I could even accept him going the Louis CK route of “the best actor gets the job regardless of if race makes sense” and casting Merly Streep as Tuya, Guillermo Del Toro as Moses and Choi Min-Sik as Moses for all I care. But to make the main characters White and everyone else African is cinematic colonialism. It’s creating a piece of historical “art” that carries on oppressive imagery that’s helped shackle entire countries and corners of the world.
I’m so damn sick of Hollywood and its acceptance of these oppressive images. If studies have shown the way that perpetual violence in movies begets violence in America, then what about perpetual maintenance of the White savior standing over the ethnic servant/villain/imbecile? What damage is this creating for the American psyche? How am I supposed to feel when all the messiahs, last samurais, African kings and saviors are White?
Yikes. Did Hollywood think casting Black people in a film about African people set in Africa would make the picture too “race-themed?” What do you think? Will you go see this film?