I wasn’t there, clearly, but I’m pretty confident in saying that there weren’t a whole lot of white people in ancient Egypt. This fact was lost on director Ridley Scott when he made last Christmas’ bomb Exodus: Gods and Kings. And it appears Hollywood learned nothing from that mistake in making the upcoming Gods of Egypt, which is due to hit theaters in February.
The trailer for Gods of Egypt dropped last week and from the looks of it, the most primary color contained within — other than the prevalent use of green screens — is white.
Sensing how controversial that choice is, the film’s director, Alex Proyas, and studio, Lionsgate, each issued statements (both initially secured by Forbes) in response to the issue. Here’s what Proyas had 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. I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made.”
Lionsgate followed up with a companion statement, which went a bit further:
“We recognize 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 apologize. Lionsgate is deeply committed to making films that reflect the diversity of our audiences. We have, can and will continue to do better.”
Will these twin apologies make an impact and possibly save Gods of Egypt ticket sales?