The release of six new posters for Lionsgate’s ‘Gods of Egypt’ has provoked an online backlash from critics who’ve accused the movie of “whitewashing” history.
The star-studded film set in ancient Egypt stars Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, and Geoffrey Rush as the “gods” of the title, but as many have pointed out online, they’re all white despite the film’s North African setting.
Even Bette Midler has stuck the boot in tweeting: “Egyptians, in history and today, have NEVER been white. BRING BACK GEOGRAPHY!! It’s Africa!”
Movie, #GodsOfEgypt in which everyone is white? Egyptians, in history and today, have NEVER been white. BRING BACK GEOGRAPHY!! It’s Africa!— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) November 12, 2015
Another Twitter user pointed out: If you need sunscreen while filming for #GodsOfEgypt it’s probably not a historically accurate casting.”
If you need sunscreen while filming for #GodsOfEgypt it’s probably not a historically accurate casting 🙈— vimto mami (@lunarnomad) November 13, 2015
This isn’t the first movie set in ancient to provoke ire over questionable casting decisions. Ridley Scott’s ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, and Sigourney Weaver provoked a similar reaction with Scott forced to defend the casting.
“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,” he told Variety. “I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”
The casting of future ‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman in the film has also provoked criticism saying it plays up to the stereotype of the “magical negro” trope.
Chadwick Boseman went from Iconic Black Guy to Magical Negro #GodsOfEgypt— Mr. Marin (@MrMarinKnows) November 12, 2015
‘Gods of Egypt’ is coming to cinemas in 2016.
Image credits: Lionsgate