Controversial casting choices of moviemakers
Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson? Hollywood has a long history of whites in non-white roles
Hollywood has a long tradition of casting white actors as other ethnicities, and a string of recent movies indicates the practice shows no real sign of abating.
Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon
British actor Joseph Fiennes, who is white and best known for playing the Bard in the film Shakespeare in Love and a role on TV's American Horror Story, is slated to portray the iconic African-American pop star Michael Jackson in a short, 30-minute TV film.
The unusual casting of Fiennes as the internationally renowned black pop star comes amid heated debate and swirling controversy surrounding the lack of diversity at the upcoming Oscars and, more generally, in Hollywood itself.
Gods of Egypt
In November 2015, Gods of Egypt director Alex Proyas apologized for casting mostly white actors in his upcoming film based on Egyptian mythology. Proyas, an Australian who was born in Egypt, said their casting choices should have been more diverse.
Exodus: Gods and Kings
The biblical film Exodus: Gods and Kings has come under fire for white actors being cast in the main roles as Egyptians, including casting Christian Bale as Moses.
Fans of the TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender slammed the movie version for its casting of white actors in the hero roles, including casting actor Noah Ringer as the Asian main character Aang.
In June, 2015, Cameron Crowe apologized to anyone offended that he cast Emma Stone in a partially Asian, partially Hawaiian role in the film Aloha. Stone's character, Capt. Allison Ng, is a quarter Hawaiian, and has a half-Chinese father.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, a live-action adaptation of a video game, stars white actor Jake Gyllenhaal in the title role rather than an actor with a Middle Eastern background.
Director Joe Wright came under scrutiny when he cast Rooney Mara as the Native American character Tiger Lily in his movie Pan.
The Lone Ranger
Disney film The Lone Ranger came under scrutiny with the casting of actor Johnny Depp to play Tonto, the title character's Native American sidekick. Depp says he is of Cherokee heritage and that he consulted with native leaders about the role.
The 2008 film 21 was based on a book inspired by the true story of a mostly Asian-American group of card players, yet was cast with mostly white actors in the main roles, including Jim Sturgess.