Did NOBODY in Hollywood learn ANYTHING from the Stonewall debacle? Casting Caucasian actors as your “avatars” into a story about People of Color DOES NOT WORK. It’s offensive, patronizing, and racist. PERIOD. Don’t do it.
And yet, here we go again.
Variety is reporting today that Will Poulter, Ben O’Toole, and Jack Reynor have been cast in Kathryn Bigelow‘s upcoming film about the 1967 Detroit riots. Yes, Star Wars hunk (and POC) John Boyega has also been cast, but Variety reports that the three white guys “are expected to have the most screen time in the movie.”
The drama is set against the backdrop of Detroit’s devastating riots that took place over five haunting summer days in 1967. Although no studio is yet attached, producers are targeting a release in 2017, the 50th anniversary of the riots.
As ONTD points out: The riots happened because black Detroiters were lashing out against the segregation and discrimination in the city, precipated by a police raid on an unlicensed bar that served black patrons. The result? The army and national guard were called in, and black people were arrested and killed en masse.
A story that no doubts resonates today, albeit one that doesn’t need three white saviors to tell it.
A few staggering statistics from Wikipedia:
43 people died: 33 were black and 10 white. 17 of the black victims were shot by white police officers. 1,189 people were injured: 407 civilians, 289 suspects, 214 Detroit police officers, 134 Detroit firefighters, 55 Michigan National Guardsmen, 67 Michigan State Police officers, 15 Wayne County Sheriff deputies, and 8 federal soldiers. 7,231 people were arrested: 6,528 adults and 703 juveniles; the youngest was 4 and the oldest was 82. Half of those arrested had no criminal record: 251 whites and 678 black. 2,509 stores were looted or burned, 388 families rendered homeless or displaced and 412 buildings burned or damaged enough to be demolished. Dollar losses from arson and looting ranged from $40 million to $80 million
(Photos of Will and Ben: Pacific Coast News)