Jodie Turner-Smith’s casting as Anne Boleyn is causing quite the stir on social media. The historical figure was infamously beheaded on treason charges after failing to give her husband King Henry VIII a son. Many have expressed their disapproval of the producers’ choice to use identity-conscious casting for the series — a practice often used by theater productions where an actor’s race does not hinder them from getting a particular role. Instead, individuals are cast by how they identify and execute the part.
Among those chiming in on the race debate is conservative political provocateur Candace Owens. The talk show host recently took to her Twitter account to speak out on the matter, saying Turner-Smith’s casting isn’t an issue to her so long as white people participate in the same kind of race bending.
“I’m actually totally fine with Jodie Turner playing the role of Anne Boleyn so long as the radical left promises to keep their mouth shut if in the future Henry Caville is selected to play Barack Obama and Rachel McAdams can play Michelle,” the 32-year-old wrote as she quoted a post a from another Twitter user, @BellaWallerstei, who shared an image of Anne Boleyn. @BellaWallerstei’s caption read, “On this day in 1533 Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen of England. For the benefit of Channel 5 researchers this is what Anne Boleyn looked like.” Owens topped capped off her own post by adding “not double standards-K?”
Although reactions were mixed, online critics were quick to retort to Owens, including one Twitter user who wrote, “Candace, can you say anything without right wing propaganda coming out of your mouth? And hate to break it to you, but your approval isn’t needed on anything.”
Another person commented, “Let’s make sure the ‘no double standard’ rule applies should BLM storm the capital one day. No special committee, no thorough investigation – K?”
Several people brought up Jesus, who was born in the Middle East but has long been portrayed as a Nordic white man with blond hair and blue eyes.
“For the longest time, Jesus image, character and role has been played by white person,” a third express. “Oh, sure Candace, the Right has been playing the game for a long time. Forget about #JesusChrist?” wrote a fourth.
The “Queen & Slim” star’s casting caused an uproar on social media last year, with many labeling the casting as “Blackwashing” and a sign of “white erasure.”
Regardless of how anyone feels about the situation, Turner-Smith couldn’t be more excited, telling RadioTimes.com in a recent interview, “It’s much more approachable and appealing to a contemporary audience when you cast this way because we are distilling this down to a human experience.” She added, “If you ask anyone to watch a film or to observe any art, you are asking them to suspend their beliefs.”
UK’s Channel 5’s psychological thriller “Anne Boleyn,” starring Jodie Turner-Smith, Paapa Essiedu, Amanda Burton, Thalissa Teixeira, Jamael Westman, and Barry Ward, can be streamed online wherever U.K. Channel 5 is available.