Whitewashing Exodus

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I have been trying to wrap my head around Ridley Scott’s Exodus movie. You know, casting white people as ancient Egyptians. Sometimes white people (and I am pretty much white) don’t understand the deep seated habit that racism really is. It isn’t openly nefarious all the time, sometimes it is just tied to economics. That makes it suck so much harder. Anyways, all of the main characters are white in this upcoming movie Exodus: Gods And Kings while all the servants and thieves are Black. So far, the #BoycottExodus movement has already interfered with the film’s promotional debut. The good thing is, though, that people are even discussing it. I remember when Aladdin came out. I loved it. But I also realized that every bad guy sounded like my dad and Aladdin sounded like me. I asked if Aladdin grew up in Atlanta too?

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.

Unfortunately, Scott is lying. Ridley Scott could get a movie funded if it was poop. He might have had a more difficult time with black actors as the main cast. But then what explains movies like American Gangster? Oh wait, it is called American Gangster. I think I agree with David Dennis Jr. when he says that maybe a film set in Africa just isn’t the right project for someone unready to engage with how Africa actually looks. It looks black and it sometimes looks Arab. Scott is answering these callouts by saying he had to be racist. The problem isn’t just casting white people, it is casting black people being portrayed as slaves in juxtaposition.

I think this is the same issue as what is going on in the show Homeland. It is a breakdown of consciousness and conscientiousness. It would not be hard to cast a more historically accurate set of actors. In fact, if it was done correctly and with the same scrutiny on talent then it might even be more impressive and lucrative. But no one from casting to production to even marketing made that call. I am not sure if you should boycott this movie, but at least think about how you can contribute to making this world a little more authentic.

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