​director ava duvernay responds to gods of egypt whitewashing apology

The Gerard Butler film has been criticised for casting white actors as ancient Egyptian gods, and the director and studio have made a rare apology.

by Charlotte Gush
30 November 2015, 1:44am

Selma director Ava DuVernay has reacted to statements from Gods of Egypt director Alex Proyas and the studio Lionsgate after their upcoming film was criticised for whitewashing. The film won't be in cinemas until February, but the release of the trailer for the Africa-based period epic -- showing white Scottish actor Gerard Butler and white Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Egyptian gods -- provoked anger from commentators and celebrities online.

Director Alex Proyas issued a statement to say, "The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse," and Lionsgate studio released a separate statement, saying, "We recognise that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance, we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologise. Lionsgate is deeply committed to making films that reflect the diversity of our audiences. We have, can and will continue to do better".

DuVernay reacted to these upfront apologies, posting on Twitter to note that, "This kind of apology never happens - for something that happens all the time. An unusual occurrence worth noting". She also posted to say, "GODS OF EGYPT makes me value Abrams' STAR WARS choices more. Makes me cheer more for Coogler's CREED," concluding, "We all deserve icons in our own image".


Text Charlotte Gush
Photography WBEZ via Flickr

Ava DuVernay
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