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Alex Proyas' Gods of Egypt Weathers Criticism Over Lack of Diversity

Ancient Egyptians and their deities were white, right? Judging from the new trailer for Gods of Egypt that's what Alex Proyas would have you believe. The film has drawn massive criticism since the release of the posters and trailer due to an almost complete 'whitewashing' when it came down to casting.

The film stars Gerard Butler and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Egyptian gods Set and Horus respectively, who become locked in a deadly battle for control of Egypt after a little interference from Brenton Thwaites' Bek, a mortal thief who serves as the film's "unexpected hero". You may have already spotted people's issue with that starring cast - Every one of them is white.

Its not just the leading cast that has been whitewashed. In fact the only hint of diversity in the whole film, as far as I can tell, is Chadwick Boseman appearing as god of wisdom Thoth. Rather than appeasing the angry commenters however, this particular casting choice caused upset due to the decision to have the one African-American actor in the film play a stereotypical, all-knowing magical witch-doctor of sorts.

Both Proyas and Lionsgate have attempted to apologise for their error of judgement, but that only succeeded in drawing in more criticism.

“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.”
– Alex Proyas

“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.” 
- Lionsgate

Across social media Proyas' weak attempt to calm the situation was dubbed a 'fauxpology' and did nothing to ease the storm directed at him.

It will be interesting to see, when the film is released next year, if they can move past this outpour of outrage and make a decent sum at the box office, or if it will all add up to a highly publicised flop. Lionsgate will certainly be hoping for the former, as the end of The Hunger Games brings the need for a new, heavy-hitting franchise.

Before you leave, why not watch the trailer below and judge for yourself?

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working as Editor of Social Songbird, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

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Alex Proyas' Gods of Egypt Weathers Criticism Over Lack of Diversity Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, December 02, 2015 Rating: 5

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