Movies that Left People of Color Out and Bombed at the Box Office!
Hollywood has managed to ruin something once again and this time, it’s not even in the U.S.
Meryl Streep, along with co-stars, appeared in Time Out London wearing t-shirts promoting their new UK movie “Suffragette”. Now it’s great that they’re promoting a movie that’s all about the fight for women’s right to vote, what’s not so great is the fact that the t-shirts said “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave” and no one red flagged it before it went to print.
The fact no one on the room said, ‘maybe this isn’t a good idea’ highlights the fact maybe there weren’t any people of color in the room to raise their hand in protest.
The quote from Emmeline Pankhurst (played by Streep in the film), who was a driving force in the British battle for women’s suffrage. But as we’ve learned, just because it was historic, doesn’t mean it’s okay.
As if all of this isn’t already bad enough, the shirt opens up the door to another conversation which is that “Suffragette” is an empowerment movie for White women which completely white washes women’s suffrage history and eliminates figures like South Asian Princess Sophia Duleep Singh.
When will Hollywood learn that not inviting people of color into the room just makes your efforts dated and weak?
Here are a few movies that left people of color on the outside and tanked because of it!
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
Somehow the films creators conveniently forgot Egypt is actually in Africa, and Africa is (surprise, surprise!) full of Black people. None of whom apparently made the cut for this film.
Rotten Tomatoes: 27%
The Lone Ranger (2013)
We get it, Johny Depp is hot but you can’t really convince us that he’s a Native American, which is exactly what Tonto is. It’s kind of backwards the casting directors for the “Lone Ranger” TV series in the 50s and 60s knew to cast a Native American man, but we ended up with Depp.
Rotten Tomatoes: 31%
You can not make Emma Stone Asian, no matter how hard you try.
Rotten Tomatoes: 19%
Stonewall was such an important milestone in the fight for gay rights that you would think Hollywood would be diligent in preserving its history. Well you thought wrong. The movie centers on a fictional White CIS gendered male and completely alienates the contributions of trans women, particularly women of color. There are only a few face of color to be seen in the shots.
Rotten Tomatoes: 9%
Pan hasn’t even made it to theaters yet and it’s already not looking good. Amidst the controversies of banning tribal headpieces as festival wear and changing the name of the Washington Redskins, the new movie Peter Pan adaptation features, Tiger Lily, the Native American character, played by a White girl in “red face”.