Gods of Egypt director Alex Proyas and studio Lionsgate have apologised for a lack of diversity in the upcoming fantasy film, after criticisms that the Egyptian deities of the title were cast with white actors (like Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush and Nicolas Coster-Waldau) rather than those of Middle Eastern descent.
“The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse,” Australian director Proyas said in a press release (via Forbes).
“I sincerely apologise to those who are offended by the decisions we made.”
A spokesperson from Lionsgate added: “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.”
The somewhat pre-emptive apology for the 2016 movie has met by some positive responses online, with Selma director Ava Duvernay quick to point out the rarity of such a quick admittance of wrongdoing (following director Ridley Scott sticking to his guns about the white cast used in his own Egyptian movie Exodus: Gods and Kings earlier this year).
This kind of apology never happens – for something that happens all the time. An unusual occurrence worth noting. https://t.co/xRTEy7woWs