Is media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, and Exodus: Gods and Kings director, Ridley Scott, racist for having an all-white cast in the movie, scheduled to hit movie theaters on December 12, 2014? Murdoch certainly does not see why there has been any hoopla and criticism regarding the casting, stating on Twitter “Since when are Egyptians not white? All I know are.”
Exodus: Gods and Kings does not attempt to tell the entire book of Exodus from the Bible, but focuses more on Moses, played by Christian Bale, defying the Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton) and leading the Jewish slaves out of captivity in Egypt. Rupert Murdoch owns 20th century Fox, the company distributing the movie.
After Rupert Murdoch, 83, was roundly criticized for his tweet, he tweeted a follow-up to clarify the issue. However, critics also jumped on this tweet, some stating that Murdoch does not have a grasp of the many races that live in Egypt and are called Egyptians. He wrote that Egyptians “are Middle Eastern” but not “black,” and added that Egyptians treated black people “as slaves.” Murdoch also wrote that there were various “shades of color,” and that people should just “calm down” about the whole matter.
When actor Joel Edgerton, who plays Ramses, was asked his thoughts about the casting, he stated that he could “understand” why there was criticism of the casting, but he was asked to play the Pharaoh Ramses, and probably felt glad to be offered the role. To him, it was an acting job, and he had no say in the casting, at any rate.
Besides Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings as Queen Tuya and Ben Kingsley plays Nun, the father of Joshua. Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul portrays Moses’ successor Joshua.
One person who tweeted, Omar X, wrote that Murdoch was “a rather ill-informed moron.” Another person who tweeted about the casting was Raymond Delauney, who wrote that the “Egyptian dictators you’ve supported are no doubt ‘white’.”
Director Ridley Scott is the person who was really behind much of the casting, though Rupert Murdoch was not shy to respond to tweets, at least, not initially. He has lately been more quiet on the subject, perhaps thinking that any further comments he might make would also be criticized.
While the main characters in Exodus: Gods and Kings are white, some of the more minor characters are of other ethnic backgrounds. Ben Kingsley is one of these, as Joshua, and another example is Indira Varma, in the role of the high priestess. Also, the lower class citizens and servants and slaves in the movie are from a more diverse ethnic make-up than the main characters.
While Rupert Murdoch was slammed by many critics who accused him of allegedly being “racist,” and wrote that he should “stop tweeting,” other people who tweeted about the casting actually praised the media mogul for his views and for sticking to his guns in this argument. The controversy is likely far from being over, and will probably reignite once Exodus: Gods and Kings hits movie theaters on December 12. Please leave any comments below!
Written By Douglas Cobb