I was at a play last night, and when I checked Twitter at intermission, Joseph Fiennes had been cast as Michael Jackson. I briefly considered the possibility that I’d slipped into an alternate universe before remembering, no, Hollywood sucks about whitewashing in this one. My second favorite take on the issue (after Jodi’s, because LOYALTY) is Orlando Jones, who responded thusly:
Let’s not stop there! The movie in question is about a road trip Jackson, Taylor, and Marlon Brando supposedly took together so they could get back to California from New York after the 9/11 attacks. Stockard Channing plays Taylor, and Brian Cox plays Brando. But why go for Cox…….[pause for snickering]……. when you could have:
James Earl Jones as Old Brando
(Commenters, I hope you know one of you has to post the Brando gif.)
Chiwetel Ejiofor as William Shakespare
*quietly whispers “Get there” a la Microsoft Golf 1998*
Teyonah Parris as Joan of Arc
Daveed Diggs as Thomas Jefferson
Viola Davis as Queen Elizabeth I
Chadwick Boseman as John F Kennedy
Granted, Boseman exponentially outpaces JFK in terms of hotness, but we’ll let that slide. Also, public service announcement: How old, based on the picture above, would you guess Chadwick Boseman is? WRONG. THAT IS A 39-YEAR-OLD MAN.
Giancarlo Esposito as St. Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo
What’s that? Saint Augustine, a key figure in the early years of the Christian religion, actually was a person of color, hailing as he did from modern-day Algeria? Whoops! Never mind!
Michael B. Jordan as Elvis Presley
Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Marie Antoinette
Well, why not? After all, if it’s OK to cast white actors as black historical figures because “we just choose the best person for the role, waaaaaah“—if that’s truly your reason—you’d think we’d see it happen the other way around more often, huh? Unless there’s some casually racist “well I would, but there just aren’t any good black actors out there” nonsense hidden in the mix, too. Hmmm, I wonder. Reminder: Whitewashing. Just say no.