‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Sparks Online Boycott After Whitewashing Ancient Egyptians

Twitter was sent into a frenzy yesterday after it was revealed all of the major characters in the ancient Egyptian-themed movie, Exodus: Gods and Kings, are played by white actors.

The film is supposed to tell the story of Moses rising up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, but it may be pretty difficult for some moviegoers to focus on the intended plot.

With the film boasting actors such as  Christian Bale and Sigourney Weaver, one can’t help notice a surprising lack of Black and brown actors in a film that is supposed to be set in ancient Egypt.

The hashtag #BoycottExodusMovie took over Twitter as users explained how tired they are of Hollywood’s tendency to whitewash history on the big screen.

“There are plenty of great minority actors and actresses, there was no need for the white Egyptian thing,” one user wrote.

Another user posted a meme of a white Egyptian movie character with the caption: “Hollywood be like, ‘What African history?’ ”

Social media backlash against the film has been unfaltering since last week, with initial comments starting on July 29.

“Straight from the tomb of King Tutankhamen Wow, look at all the white people!… said no one ever #BoycottExodusMovie,” one user tweeted along with a photo of the famous King’s tomb with wall drawings depicting people of color.

Another user created a collage of the film’s actors both in and out of character, along with their respective characters in animated form from the movie The Prince of Egypt.

“Apparently it’s OK to animate accurate looking Egyptians, but not OK to cast them live action,” he tweeted along with the collage and the hashtag #BoycottExodusMovie.

Another user pointed out that filmmakers had no problem casting Black actors in the roles of the slaves.

“The irony. Coincidence or not. Black actors cast to play slaves,” one user tweeted along with a screenshot of the full cast list from IMDb.

Based on one user’s screenshot, it also appears the film will be whitewashing the Egyptian statues as well.

At one point, slaves can be seen assembling a statue in the background and the nearly completed face boasts the facial features of a white man.

The image began circulating the social media site quickly, with one user calling it “so disrespectful.”

Recently, many actors including Mekhi Phifer, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael B. Jordan have been openly discussing the presence of racism in Hollywood and how Black actors struggle to find desirable roles.

Exodus: Gods and Kings is set to hit theaters this December.


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