Entertainment

This Noah Writer’s Lame Excuse For Using Only White Actors Is Aggressively Ignorant

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Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly in Noah still 2014(Photo: Niko Tavernise – © 2012 Paramount Pictures via IMDb)

If you saw Noahyou might've wondered why, in a world where an immensely diverse range of species are represented —  literally every single one on the planet, if you really want to get down to it — there was absolutely no diversity shown in the cast. Well one of the writers has an answer for you, and it's so aggressively stupid that I honestly can't believe he let anyone write it down.

Or maybe you didn't wonder about the lack of diversity at all, which wouldn't surprise me, given that it's fairly in keeping with the white-washing trend so prevalent in Hollywood right now and also always. With the exception of a few directors or producers and a handful of more A-list people of color who can command the same respect that their Caucasian counterparts are given, if there's a role to fill, it's gonna go to someone with white skin.

Even if it's a character that's written with a specific ethnicity, it'll be appropriated by a white actor. Just think of Johnny Depp as Tonto in The Lone Ranger, Jake Gyllenhaal in The Prince Of PersiaBen Affleck as Tony Mendez in ArgoRooney Mara as Tiger Lily in the Peter Pan remake…I could go on, but I shouldn't because I'm getting off-track.
The point is, the movie Noah would've been a great opportunity to work with a diverse cast, don't you think? It's a mythical, biblical story, so there's no precedent as far as the race of the people involved other than what we have in our minds. And yet, of the twenty-six cast members whose photos are shown on the movie's IMDb page, all twenty-six appear to be Caucasian. All of the people from whose loins the entire population of Earth sprung…were white! Apparently. Even though that causes some serious issues for the theory of evolution. 

Ari Handel attending Tribeca Film Festival April 2011(Photo: Mike Coppola / Staff / Getty Images Entertainment)
But don't worry guys, one of the film's writers, Ari Handel, says it's no big deal. And he should know — he's white!

“From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people.”

Yeah bro…it doesn't matter to you. You made that clear when you cast the movie. But to casually say that a lily-white cast is supposed to be stand-ins for all people is something that only a middle-aged white guy could say with a straight face. But don't worry, there's more.

“Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise. You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, ‘Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.’”

Ugh. Again with that ‘everyman' thing. Thank goodness that people of color have Russell Crowe and Emma Watson to represent them in your mythical epic! I'm so glad you didn't call attention to it by calling out brands like United Colors of Bennetton and Star Trek that have been making a conscious effort to further the cause of diversity for decades now. I'm sorry that that was so distracting for you.

“Looking at this story through that kind of lens is the same as saying, ‘Would the ark float and is it big enough to get all the species in there?’ That’s irrelevant to the questions because the questions are operating on a different plane than that; they’re operating on the mythical plane.”

Again, dude, listen to what you're saying. These issues are irrelevant to you because you are a white male and you've never been underrepresented. You're so far removed from that situation that you LITERALLY THINK IT OPERATES ON A MYTHICAL PLANE. We're talking white privilege in biblical proportions here, and it's making me feel like a goddamn lunatic.