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Ridley Scott Addresses 'Exodus' Casting Controversy

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posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 12:27 AM
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This a clip of the upcoming blockbuster Exodus: Gods and Kings

Following months of backlash, Ridley Scott has finally addressed the casting controversies surrounding "Exodus." In an interview with Variety, Scott said the reason he cast white actors to play Egyptians in his Biblical film was because of monetary considerations.

"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," Scott told Variety. "I'm just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn't even come up."

Scott's film cost near $200 million before European tax credits pushed the eventual reported budget down to $140 million. Christian Bale plays Moses in the film, with white actors such as Joel Edgerton (as Ramses), Sigourney Weaver (as Tuya), John Turturro (as Seti I) and Aaron Paul (as Joshua) filling out other major roles. Non-white actors with significant parts in "Exodus: Gods and Kings" include Ben Kingsley, María Valverde and Hiam Abbass. (Black actors were seemingly cast as slaves and servants.)

"Ridley Scott is one of those guys who’s apparently hellbent on historical accuracy but doesn’t care enough to cast a person of color as Moses or a goddamn African queen while simultaneously filling out the rest of the movie with Black servants and thieves," David Dennis Jr. wrote in a post on Medium. "But to make the main characters white and everyone else African is cinematic colonialism. It’s creating a piece of historical 'art' that carries on oppressive imagery that’s helped shackle entire countries and corners of the world.
www.huffingtonpost.com...
"


Now alot of folks were upset at the choice of casting including yours truly and I wondered why Ridley Scott who usually do an out standing job would muck this up,not only in the choice in casting but the disregard for the costume of that era, as a history buff that was extremely annoying,the guards are sporting Nemesis headdress, that's the equivalent of king Henry's body guards and servants wearing crowns, pants and knee high boots?? really??. now I am not nit picking here but one doesn't spend millions of dollars with what I presume field experts on the set giving advice,remember this is no rinky dink director making a rink dink movie this is the guy who made Gladiator ferchrissakes.

While I grant the exodus as we know it was fiction atleast give a proper bow to those ancient Africans,it is not that folks of color wasn't in the movie but they appeared at the bottom of the social ladder like some 60ts remake of the Ten Commandments. I would have been better sold on this flick if they were making a movie about the Hyksos or the Ptolemies,after all the 18th and 19th dyn were among the most African in kmt.

edit on 28-11-2014 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 12:29 AM
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Scott should stick to making Alien movies.

What an idiot.



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 12:38 AM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
Scott should stick to making Alien movies.

What an idiot.

But he did Gladiator so well that's why I am disappointed.



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 01:02 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

The only Egyptian Pharaoh I know that is white is Cleopatra because of her Greek ancestry.

At the very least because Moses and the Hebrews are the ancestors of the Jews, why not use Arab Jewish Actors to represent Hebrews?
edit on 28-11-2014 by starwarsisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 01:03 AM
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a reply to: starwarsisreal

Well the movie might flop if he doesn't apparently.
Even worse, he might be right



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 01:08 AM
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a reply to: Sremmos80

Then he can keep Bale as the main actor and then the rest are Arab, Ethiopian, and European Jews. At the very least try to show some Historical accuracy. Also make some Egyptian officials Black and Arab.



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 01:19 AM
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it's a story based on a fictional book and everyone is complaining about accuracy?
probably the same people that have a picture of jesus looking like a surfer dude in their kitchen.
the bible was been made a white man's book.
Scott might not be geographically accurate, but he is socially accurate



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 01:19 AM
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edit on 28/11/2014 by IShotMyLastMuse because: (no reason given)

edit on 28/11/2014 by IShotMyLastMuse because: double post and i don't know how to delete the additional one and this is at least a better solution. Also did you know The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law, which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb? The more you know!


edit on 28/11/2014 by IShotMyLastMuse because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 01:45 AM
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I don't understand why this is a big deal. It's a movie based on mythological events. It doesn't have to strictly adhere to everything when its contents reflect mythological fiction.

That said, ancient Egypt was a multicultural society. And while i understand why some would be hesitant at the choice of actors, it makes sense to include multiple ethnicities. Not all Egyptians were black, and not all Egyptians were tanned. Would people be kicking up such a storm if all the actors were either black or tanned? No, i don't think so.

The movie isn't historically accurate, and the events it is based on are regarded as fiction. Complaining about the choice of actors and costumes is pointless when regarding the overall material.
edit on 28-11-2014 by daaskapital because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 01:58 AM
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originally posted by: Sremmos80
a reply to: starwarsisreal

Well the movie might flop if he doesn't apparently.
Even worse, he might be right


Here is another part of the problem right here.
" In an interview with Variety, Scott said the reason he cast white actors to play Egyptians in his Biblical film was because of monetary considerations.

"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," Scott told Variety. "I'm just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn't even come up."

I remember Spielberg saying he had a hard time raising money for the Movie Red Tails about an all black air force fighter Squadron WWII true story,and Danny Glover is still begging money in far off places to make the period piece Toussaint,the Black revolutionary hero of Haiti who defeated the French,Spanish,and English and created the first successful slave rebellion in history a feat not even Spartacus had achieved,he can't find funding,so there is something telling about why certain historical characters or whole civilization will never get made,they are afraid the audience would not show-up which is bunk for they do feed us a steady diet of slave movies Django Unchained and 12 Years A Slave,hood movies,movies about rapy black dads and females with daddy issues (see Color Purple and Precious )or comic relief those get funded I think the backers under estimate their audience for the critique have been scathing from folks of all back ground,a thing that would never have happen back in the day when Ten Commandments was made .
edit on 28-11-2014 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 02:01 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

Uhhh.. It's a Hollywood film. You need super famous actors to sell it. Maybe there weren't any people of color who could play the part well.
Quality over accuracy, probably.



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 02:07 AM
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originally posted by: daaskapital
I don't understand why this is a big deal. It's a movie based on mythological events. It doesn't have to strictly adhere to everything when its content reflects mythological fiction.

That said, ancient Egypt was a multicultural society. And while i understand why some would be hesitant at the choice of actors, it makes sense to include multiple ethnicities. Not all Egyptians were black, and not all Egyptians were tanned. Would people be kicking up such a storm if all the actors were either black or tanned? No, i don't think so.

The movie isn't historically accurate, and the events it is based on are regarded as fiction. Complaining about the choice of actors and costumes is pointless when regarding the overall material.

So was Greece and Rome multi cultural but the base of those societies was European Mediterranean the reverse of what it was in Egypt,like I said especially the 18th and 19th dyn,these guys that spent 200mil making this movie knew better and again I don't expect historical accuracy on a mythology but for that level of collective skill I expected better.



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 02:12 AM
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originally posted by: ItCameFromOuterSpace
a reply to: Spider879

Uhhh.. It's a Hollywood film. You need super famous actors to sell it. Maybe there weren't any people of color who could play the part well.
Quality over accuracy, probably.

No not buying it that may have been true decades ago but not today.



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 02:51 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

So what about Idris Elba? He would have made some money for the film. He's a win win choice! The ladies like him, the males respect the fact that he is built like a tank, and can deliver a line, and allegedly he can pilot a giant mechanical monster bashing machine! What's wrong with that?

There comes a point, where one has to insist that if a thing cannot be done right, and make money, then it should not be done at all. Protecting artistic integrity requires steadfastness, and a preparedness to scrap a project unless you can make it as close to perfect as you can imagine!



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 03:29 AM
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a reply to: IShotMyLastMuse

You absolutely hit it on the nose - "a fictional book and everyone is complaining about accuracy"?

What I am also getting sick of is the continual 'jewish historical record and also the number of jewish actors that get the plumb parts when they are not always the most talented plus of course historical fiction being made again and again as though its being pushed down everyones throats. This subject and other biblical ones are so outlandish and beginning to bore. How about something about another race's history that we haven't seen so much about and is actually accurate?



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 03:29 AM
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originally posted by: starwarsisreal
a reply to: Sremmos80

Then he can keep Bale as the main actor and then the rest are Arab, Ethiopian, and European Jews. At the very least try to show some Historical accuracy. Also make some Egyptian officials Black and Arab.



originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Spider879

So what about Idris Elba? He would have made some money for the film. He's a win win choice! The ladies like him, the males respect the fact that he is built like a tank, and can deliver a line, and allegedly he can pilot a giant mechanical monster bashing machine! What's wrong with that?

There comes a point, where one has to insist that if a thing cannot be done right, and make money, then it should not be done at all. Protecting artistic integrity requires steadfastness, and a preparedness to scrap a project unless you can make it as close to perfect as you can imagine!


If you want to bring up Idris Elba, why is he allowed to play a European (white) Mythological character (in Thor) yet white actors cannot play Egyptians?

Idris Elba played Heimdall, who is not black in mythology. In fact, he is described as being "the whitest of the gods" yet a black actor was cast to play him. Why? Do you have a moral outrage against that as well? I don't. Idris Elba is badass, I don't care what color he is, this is mythology not historical documentary. Just like it makes far more sense to cast western actors in a western film. Just like the movie industries in other countries use local talent to fill roles even if it isn't accurate to the character being depicted. Plenty of foreign films using non-white actors to portray white characters from history/fiction, again I ask where is your outrage?

Only getting upset when it's non-white figures being cast with white actors reeks of hypocrisy.




edit on 28-11-2014 by James1982 because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-11-2014 by James1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 03:33 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Spider879

So what about Idris Elba? He would have made some money for the film. He's a win win choice! The ladies like him, the males respect the fact that he is built like a tank, and can deliver a line, and allegedly he can pilot a giant mechanical monster bashing machine! What's wrong with that?

There comes a point, where one has to insist that if a thing cannot be done right, and make money, then it should not be done at all. Protecting artistic integrity requires steadfastness, and a preparedness to scrap a project unless you can make it as close to perfect as you can imagine!

Yes Idris would have been a great addition plus he got that Brit accent which sound super intelligent in movies which is why I suspect he is your pick..



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 03:36 AM
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a reply to: starwarsisreal

The word jew did not come into common usage until the 1800's. It is thought that the orginal hebrews- khazars possibly came from the caucasus mountains; so they were probably lighter skin than the semites of today. Some have speculated that Moses was a pharaoh, treated the hebrews kindly and escorted them out of Egypt when they wanted their own land to settke in. We may never know the full story

www.greatdreams.com...



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 03:39 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

Well to be honest, his accent really does not have much of an impact on me, being a British person myself.
However, I like the way he delivers a line, I like the way he acts with his entire body, the set of the shoulders, the way he deals with business in that regard.



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 03:41 AM
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originally posted by: James1982

originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Spider879

So what about Idris Elba? He would have made some money for the film. He's a win win choice! The ladies like him, the males respect the fact that he is built like a tank, and can deliver a line, and allegedly he can pilot a giant mechanical monster bashing machine! What's wrong with that?

There comes a point, where one has to insist that if a thing cannot be done right, and make money, then it should not be done at all. Protecting artistic integrity requires steadfastness, and a preparedness to scrap a project unless you can make it as close to perfect as you can imagine!


If you want to bring up Idris Elba, why is he allowed to play a European (white) Mythological character (in Thor) yet white actors cannot play Egyptians?

Idris Elba played Heimdall, who is not black in mythology. In fact, he is described as being "the whitest of the gods" yet a black actor was cast to play him. Why? Do you have a moral outrage against that as well? I don't. Idris Elba is badass, I don't care what color he is, this is mythology not historical documentary. Just like it makes far more sense to cast western actors in a western film. Just like the movie industries in other countries use local talent to fill roles even if it isn't accurate to the character being depicted. Plenty of foreign films using non-white actors to portray white characters from history/fiction, again I ask where is your outrage?

Only getting upset when it's non-white figures being cast with white actors reeks of hypocrisy.


Actually I was against him being Heimdall that was a bow to having diversity when it was not needed I would have been equally annoyed if the guy that played Thor ended up playing Shango the Yoruba God of thunder,but even so it didn't make the Valhalla's Gods mostly Black or brown they threw in an Asian guy in there to mix it up.



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