Detractors of Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings Missing the Point
I can understand the concern expressed by those who say that the movie by Ridley Scott has mostly white actors but to be completely honest, I think that they either do not wish to understand director Scott’s motivation nor are they concerned by a far more important element of the movie.
In an article titled “Director Ridley Scott Responds To Outcry Over His Mostly White Cast In "Exodus: Gods And Kings" written by Amanda Andrade for the New York Daily News, she reports that “After Ridley Scott’s newest film, "Exodus: Gods and Kings,” was unveiled to the public, many people were upset that Egyptian characters were played by white actors. Scott has finally spoken out about the controversy and said those angered by his casting choices need to “get a life.” “The biblical film, which cost about $140 million to produce, features big name actors like Christian Bale, who plays Moses.”
Point one is simply Moses has been played by white actors since Hollywood began stealing stories from the Bible and no one has said much about it until now. Check the history of biblical features and you will not see one with mostly any other race. Why is it now that this article says “many people”. Are these many people just a few or many? Who are these few people or are they just going to remain invisible to us? What are they willing to do about it besides complain? Couldn’t these few people collect enough cash to make an identical film and hire mostly other race people? Maybe the answer is in what the star of this motion picture says as reported by this same article.
Christian “Bale defended the cast, saying that it was good business sense to hire him and other white actors. “[Ridley Scott has] been incredibly honest in getting a large, big-budget film like this made," he said, alluding to the fact that investors are more comfortable when famous actors, like him, are attached to movies. Bale continued to put the impetus on movie-goers, saying, “The audience has to show financiers that they will be there, and [then] they could make a large budget film.”
Good business sense, appears to be the best excuse for this dilemma but does it work and what is the point that so many appear to be missing? Frankly it is the accuracy of the story that should be our primary focus. Those who go to see this film will be greatly influenced by what they see and if it is so far apart from a better truth, many exiting that theater will perpetuate that version. Is this not a greater damage than what color the actors are playing these roles. This disagreement was not front page news when Russell Crow played Noah and if I am not mistaking, we didn’t see too many other race actors in that one either.