100 times a white actor played someone who wasn't white
The Internet was shocked — shocked! — to learn this week that white guy Joseph Fiennes has been cast as African American icon Michael Jackson in a TV movie. But anyone who’s surprised at this news hasn’t been paying attention. Despite decades of protests over racially inappropriate casting, and the recent protests over the lack of diversity among Oscar nominees, filmmakers continue to cast white actors as minority characters on a depressingly regular basis.
Hollywood has yet to wrap its mind around the fact that the ancient Middle East was not populated entirely by dashing white men with well-trimmed beards. It’s pretty well documented that the area was home to people with darker skin than, say, Richard Gere, Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, who’ve each taken a turn at playing a biblical hero (David, Noah and Moses, respectively). But here we are again, with “Gods of Egypt” set for release next month, and a slate of white actors is starring in a film about a place whose ancient inhabitants had brown skin and black hair.