Gods of Egypt is a new movie that came out which I quietly boycotted. It is a whitewashed movie that has cultural appropriation written all over it.
I am personally offended by the casting of this movie because
- I am Egyptian
- I am an actress
Gerard Butler is a white man of Irish & Scottish descent. He does not have the skin tone of an Egyptian man, he does not have any of the features of an Egyptian man, and he should not be PLAYING an Egyptian man. Yet, here is, smack in the center of Gods of Egypt. However, it doesn’t stop at our leading man: Half of the leads are Australian. I’m just going to repeat that for emphasis: HALF OF THE LEADS ARE AUSTRALIAN. If you’re bad at geography, let me spell it out for you. Australia and Egypt are not close together, in fact they are exactly 12,440kms apart. I mean, to be clear, some of the actors are blonde. I have never seen a naturally blonde middle eastern person, and let me tell you, I know a LOT of middle eastern people.
It’s more then just the casting too. I’m so sick of seeing middle eastern people as half clothed with a lot of gold. Egyptian culture is so much more then that. Yes, we wear a lot of gold, congrats on picking that up. But, one of our main protectors is the scarab. And the one time I’ve seen that represented, it was in The Mummy, and it was evil. I won’t even get into the blasphemy of the representation of the Eye in the Gods of Egypt Trailer because then we’d be here for a month.
Women don’t need to have strands of gold across their half naked bodies. Surprisingly enough, that’s not what we wear. In ancient times, it was gold and white with beautiful blues. WHERE ARE MY BLUES? In modern day, we wear mirrors and colors and still cotton because it is HOT. White and blue, my dear costume designers. White. And. Blue. None of that ‘ever so shiny off-white.’ Oh, and Cleopatra basically invented winged eyeliner. Girl, why does all the eyeliner stop at the end of the eye with a pretty pink lip? Um…. did you do ANY research? Oh and referring to the picture below, middle eastern people tend to have curly hair, just throwing that out there. But hey, at least the blonde in the picture does, right?
Oh and also, if you’re going to go all “ancient Egypt” why does Gerard Butler’s hair look like it was cut every morning…
This isn’t the first time that this has happened either. Do you remember when Aladdin came to Broadway and they cast only white actors? ZERO MIDDLE EASTERN ACTORS WERE CAST. ZERO! I went to see it – they had to put wigs on the actors and they all looked like they had an awkward trip to a tanning salon. I guess someone should have told them middle eastern people aren’t orange?
It blows my mind that nobody talks about this.
If I seem angry, it’s because I am. How many middle eastern actors and actresses do you know? How many middle eastern actors and actresses have won an oscar? Go ahead, name ONE. I will not be doomed to an acting career of “terrorist number seven.” Nobody talks about the lack of representation of middle eastern people, and that has GOT to change.
So. Here is my new cast list made entirely of actors and actresses with middle eastern descent:
Bek: Pej Vahdat
Horus: Omid Abtahi
Vendor: Jay Abdo
Zaya: Golshifteh Farahani
Hathor: Nazanin Boniadi
Isis: Hiam Abbass
Osiris: Waleed Zuaiter
Nephthys: Yara Shahidi
Thoth: Karim Kamel
And my personal favorite, to replace Gerard Butler, the gorgeous Asser Yassin would play Set.
From my understanding, this film has bombed. Personally, I think that’s karma. In my mind, this type of misrepresentation warrants no grade.