'Gods Of Egypt': 'Selma' Director Ava DuVernay Responds To Alex Proyas & Lionsgate Apology For Lack Of Diversity – Update
UPDATED, 3:01PM Saturday: Selma director Ava DuVernay took time out today to Tweet her responses to Friday's post about the conspicuously non-diverse casting of Gods Of Egypt, and Lionsgate and Alex Proyas' uncharacteristically quick public acknowledgement of the matter.PREVIOUSLY, 12:18PM Friday: Both Lionsgate and the director of its upcoming Gods Of Egypt have apologized for the film's much-disparaged casting, with Lionsgate releasing a statement, first reported by Forbes today, conceding that the company "failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity."
Alex Proyas' film about mortals and gods of ancient Egypt, stars Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Rufus Sewell and Geoffrey Rush and opens February 26. Last week, following the release of a trailer, Deadline's Ross A. Lincoln wrote that "based on the statuary and monuments that have survived, not to mention thousands of years of other cultures commenting on them, [ancient Egyptians] definitely weren't white people with flowing, curly blond locks, and their gods were definitely not Europeans. To me, casting here stands out like a sore thumb leftover from 1950s Hollywood."
In the joint statements, Lionsgate responded to widespread criticism: "We recognize that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologize. Lionsgate is deeply committed to making films that reflect the diversity of our audiences. We have, can and will continue to do better."
Proyas' statement reads: "The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse. I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made."
Lincoln and other journalists have noted that that the film's trailer recalls the similar controversy that met Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods And Kings last year. In the new film, Thwaites plays a mortal on a mission to save the world, enlisting the god Horus (Coster-Waldau) in an alliance against god of darkness Set (Butler).