Remember about a year ago, when everyone was up in arms about “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” the Ridley Scott film about Moses leading Hebrew slaves out of Egypt? The one where Christian Bale played Moses, Joel Edgerton played Ramses and Sigourney Weaver played Ramses’s mother, Tuya, but people of color in the movie were cast in non-speaking roles or as assassins and thieves?
Apparently Mystery Clock Cinema, the production company responsible for the new movie “Gods of Egypt,” and Lionsgate, the studio backing it, missed that whole fracas, because, well — you know what? Just have a look-see at the new posters for the movie, which were released Thursday:
— Suleiman (@Payitforward87) November 12, 2015
— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) November 12, 2015
— BlackGirlNerds (@BlackGirlNerds) November 12, 2015
— Carrie Tupper (@mermaidshells) November 12, 2015
“Gods of Egypt” stars Gerard Butler as Set, Brenton Thwaites as Bek, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Horus and Geoffrey Rush as Ra. Chadwick Boseman plays Thoth.
Social media was never going to let this skirt by, but the timing of the poster release is especially unfortunate for Lionsgate. Thanks to Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None,” whitewashed casting and the offensiveness of brownface has pretty much dominated the pop culture conversation this week. Promotion for the movie is beginning just as we’re wrapping a banner year for discussions of diversity and gender pay equity in the film industry. Whoops.
Rather than retread the same arguments surrounding “Exodus” — because really, what’s the use? — we submit that maybe “Gods of Egypt” makers were going for the same effect as that production of “The Mountaintop” that cast a white actor to play Martin Luther King. As for the extras in spray tans? Well, we’ll leave that to director Alex Proyas to explain.