Rupert Murdoch has attempted to defend the casting of 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' after critics claimed the film's casting was racially insensitive.
Critics believe the film is racially insensitive as director Ridley Scott chose to cast white actors in the roles of Egyptians, as The Huffington Post reports. Exodus: Gods and Kings is a retelling of the biblical story of Moses as he led the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. The film focuses on the relationship between Moses and his adopted brother Ramses.
Christian Bale plays Moses, Joel Edgerton portrays Ramses, Aaron Paul plays Moses' successor Joshua and Sigourney Weaver has been cast in the role of Queen Tuya. Notably the major characters in the film are portrayed by white actors, yet there are some actors from other ethnic groups who also feature in Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Moses film attacked on Twitter for all white cast. Since when are Egyptians not white? All I know are.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) November 29, 2014
However, the actors from different ethnic groups tend to have lesser roles. Mixed race actors Ben Kingsley portrays Nun, the father of Joshua, and Indira Varma plays the high priestess. Furthermore, the characters from the lower social orders in the film - the slaves, servants and low class citizens - are portrayed by actors from a variety of ethnic groups, whilst the white actors primarily have higher social status parts within the film.
Murdoch owns 20th Century Fox, the company producing Exodus: Gods and Kings, and he defended the casting via Twitter on Friday (28th November). Murdoch tweeted "Since when are Egyptians not white? All I know are." After receiving a number of responses with other Twitter users, Murdoch attempted to clarify his position but simply made the situation worse.
Everybody-attacks last tweet. Of course Egyptians are Middle Eastern, but far from black. They treated blacks as slaves.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) November 29, 2014
Murdoch wrote "Of course Egyptians are Middle Eastern, but far from black. They treated blacks as slaves." He then wrote how "there are many shades of colour", adding "nothing racist about that". The 83-year-old requested angry Twitter users "calm down" but his comments only further enraged users with many writing how Murdoch is "racist". Others called for him to simply "stop tweeting" whilst there were some individuals who praised Murdoch for his views. Murdoch finally attempted to change the subject and has been silent on social media since Friday.
Okay, there are many shades of color. Nothing racist about that, so calm down!— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) November 29, 2014