'Gods of Egypt' Director, Studio Apologize for Mostly White Casting

Gerard Butler in "Gods of Egypt"
Gerard Butler in “Gods of Egypt”

The director of “Gods of Egypt” and Lionsgate studio have apologized for casting white actors, including Gerard Butler, Rufus Sewell and Geoffrey Rush, for a period piece set in Africa.

The apologies come as Hollywood faces complaints of widespread sexism and lack of diversity on screen and behind the camera.

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Here are the statements from Lionsgate and director Alex Proyas, first reported by Forbes:

Lionsgate: “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:  “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.”

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This is the second apology for lack of diversity in a studio movie. “Aloha” director Cameron Crowe apologized last June for casting Emma Stone for a character who was one-quarter Asian and one-quarter Hawaiian.