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Depardieu Race Issue

| Filed under: Film FlickersFrancophilia


As Gerard Depardieu prepared to star in L'Autre Dumas, a French film about famed author Alexander Dumas, he dons a black wig and darker skin.

And it's gotten many people extremely angry!

Depardieu is an esteemed actor, but he has blond hair and blue eyes, which is not a good combination to play the mixed race author. Although Dumas was born in Paris, he was the grandson of a Haitian slave and referred to himself as a Caribbean "negro" because of his distinctive features. Since he was living in the 19th century, he was often mocked for his color, which many consider to be an important part of his story.

Patrick Lozes, President of the Council of Black Associations of France, finds the casting decision "extremely shocking and insulting," as he feels that Dumas' race was ignored to give the film a more commercial appeal.

"In 150 years time could the role of Barack Obama be played in a film by a white actor with a fuzzy wig? Can Martin Luther King be played by a white?" Lozes continued.

In his defense, director Safy Nebbousaid stated that Dumas was only a quarter black. He stated, "It would have been an historic error to have chosen a mixed-blood actor - he had blue eyes like Depardieu." Then, he shot himself in the foot by adding, "France is enormously behind the Anglo-Saxons in the matter of actors from other ethnic backgrounds."

WTF?! So, it's true?!

The film is a fictional story about the author's relationship with his assistant, Auguste Maquet, who helped him write his literary masterpieces.

They should have considered actors of all races and not just jumped the gun! Only the film shall set this straight…


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92 comments to “Depardieu Race Issue”

  1. 1

    The guy on the right in black and white looks like Jesus Luz.

  2. 2

    Big YAWN

  3. 3

    How typical that people who do not want to be racially discriminated (i.e. The Council of Black Associations of France) engage in active discrimination of actors based on their race. But of course it is okay since it is discrimination against a white person.

  4. 4

    it's not like depardieu is playing malcolm x. stupid story perez. all pc

  5. 5

    Re: Cory Money-Whore – Omg thats what i was gonna say !!!! LOL he does look like Madonnas boyfriend Jesus Luz . Gerard Depardieu can actually pass as Alexandre Dumas,but they chose a younger photo of Alexandre.

  6. 6

    Sad, but it's French people, they don't seem very accepting of other ethnicities and cultures. That's why I don't buy L'Oreal after hearing that they wanted only sales girls that were "Bleu. Blanc. & Rouge" (meaning white and blonde- natural born French).

    There are probably tons of mixed actors who would love this role, but they can't get over themselves.

  7. 7

    Dis be some stank ass bullshiz! Dem Hollywoods peeps needz a playa like Lil' Wayne or Flava Flav to play dis gangsta!

  8. 8

    Why don't they use the mixed actor on Greys Anatomy that has blue eyes and kind of favors the author. He was also in Rihanna's video, for her first single.

  9. 9

    It's just a movie — a movie that no one will actually watch. Black people are so whiny–it's ok for them to discriminate others, but they can't take it when they're the ones being discriminated. Get over yourselves–you're not as special and important as you believe you are!

  10. 10

    Re: CarolinaGirlCateRe: jesyrene – you people are so stupid, you guys are missing the point, your just quick to defend your race. it says his race played an important part in his life, its like obama being played by a white man! when have you seen on tv or film a white historic person in a biography movie about the famous white person, played by a black person?, that would be politcially correctness gone mad.

  11. 11

    Re: CarolinaGirlCate – Exactly what I was thinking!! It seems like it's okay for black people to discriminate against white people nowadays but not the other way around. Pretty damn hypocritical. If you don't want to be discriminated against, DO NOT DO IT YOURSELF. No one should be doing this. Forget the past.

    If we want race to not be an issue then we need to stop getting upset over stupid ass shit like this! It makes me so angry, it doesn't matter what the issue is, if it's an issue about any race it just stupid.

    I think everyone needs to get the hell over race and not even THINK of it - I'm half black, half white. I'm mixed/biracial not one or the other. I don't look black or white. I look mixed. I wouldn't give a SHIT if a white or black person played me in a movie. Who the hell cares even if they are Indian! I'm mixed, so was Alexander, so why would it matter if a white person OR a black person portrayed him in a movie? A good majority of people are mixed, but they still are considered black or mexican, etc. Their white hertiage is pretty much disowned. It's the one drop rule and WE SHOULD NOT USE THE ONE DROP RULE. That is fucking stupid, it was used back in the day to keep the white race "pure". Embrace all of your heritage.

    And you know, we all share a common strand of DNA - we are all one. So get over yourselves and calling every damn thing racist.

  12. 12

    Its always a problem when a white person plays a black or mixed race person. Everyone was mad when Angelina Jolie was in the movie wanted, everyone got mad on ANTM when the photo shoot was to portray people of mixed race…yet no one got mad when Will Smith played in I am Legend…I'm not really one to get into this whole race mess fighting back and forth…but some things are just ridiculous

  13. 13

    i think it's totally cool that depardieu does the part. there's nothing wrong with it.

  14. 14

    Re: BRIGHTON… – Zzzzzzz…….boring

  15. edna says – reply to this


    I'll be okay with this when Halle Berry plays Queen Elizabeth.

  16. 16


    Hardly like Obama. Have you seen pictures of Dumas? he was 1/4 black. Sure he was not pale or blond but he was Caucasian looking with blue eyes and European features.

  17. edna says – reply to this


    Re: Harliqueen – I am Legend WAS science fiction. Note the fiction

  18. 18

    By the way just check out some other pictures of Dumas, he was definitely Caucasian looking, so I don't see any problem with Gerard's portrayal. By the way, here in Europe no one cares what sex or race you are so get over it.

  19. 19

    Re: BabyPink_FL

    Have you actually been to France or anywhere outside of hicks-ville you idiot? Like 1/4 of the country is of mixed ethnicity and nobody gives a shit what anyone's race is. A lot of the famous celebrities, news anchors, politicians are of mixed ethnicity. No one cares and its sad that there are so many people like you who are painfully ignorant and have never been anywhere in the world yet they always have something to say.

  20. 20

    So using this logic, only a mixed race person could play Obama in a movie, right? Because to use an actor with 2 black parents would be inaccurate, huh? (sorry Will Smith, the fact that you & the prez both have goofy ears doesn't matter. We need someone half white for the role…) Or is only ok to ignore the white part of someones heritage?

    Dumas was more white than black, and if you look at photos of him when he was solder there is a resemblance between him and Depardieu.

  21. 21

    Re: jesyrene – listen bitch, don't clump people all together. No one speaks on behalf of all "black people", get some black friends and real world culture and you'd know this.

    Suburban Whites on this board being offended by "discrimination" is laughable. As if being "white" is so hard, loldz.

    I'm white by the way, and atleast I can respect an out in the open rascist. You know exactly who you're dealing with. But these internet white people who come on here talking shit about blacks then turn around and rock black culture in their real lives need to be exposed for the ignorant trolls they are. must be refreshing to hide behind ur screen and show ur true colors. Just because you don't wear a white sheet does'nt mean ur not a racsist.

  22. 22

    Re: CarolinaGirlCate

    Are you a fucking moron? How is Gerard being discriminated against?

  23. 23

    Re: Harliqueen

    I am legend wasn't based on a true story. Or a story of a white man.

    You are a stupid fuck.

  24. 24

    Perez, don't comment on things that you have no idea about. Do you even know a single of Dumas' books? This is a phony controversy.

  25. 25

    Re: BabyPink_FL
    have you even been to France? I doubt it, since mixed race people are totally accepted. Shut up if you don't know what you're talking about.

  26. 26

    Why can't they get Terrance Howard to play the part???HELP SAVE KETURA MALVOISIN!!!!!

  27. 27

    Omg, I think they got this idea from Tropic Thunder's Lazarus character. Don't they know that we actually accepted Robert Downey Jr. playing Lazarus because it was just a comedy and so intentionally meant to poke fun of his actual character Lincoln Osiris - the Australian actor who was ridiculously into method acting? We laughed then because it was just a joke at Osiris's expense, not because it was ethically okay!

    While I appreciate this obviously talented actor's interest in playing Alexander Dumas, I think that if he truly wants to play the man homage then he needs to let someone of his own racial background take on the role. And I find the comments by the director rather disturbing.

    Besides that, man, so excited about the movie (if they get a different actor to play the character), I used to read Dumas so much when I was younger!

  28. 28

    Pig Face, how do you know how they reached this decision or how many actors of various ethnicity were auditioned. Spare us the self-righteous outrage. No doubt, if they had chosen you, you would have said it was brilliant casting, you hypocritical fuck!

  29. 29

    Re: Cory Money-Whore

    Yes, only Dumas actually had some talent.

  30. 30

    Re: giorgio85 – I'm not from hicks-ville, I guess you're familiar with it, I'm not. I'm from a VERY CULTURALLY DIVERSE & LARGE METROPOLITAN AREA and have traveled throughout Europe and the Caribbean. I'm for a multi-ethnic family and I enjoy and support cultural diversity. Actors of mixed race are very rarely given roles, so why not extend the opportunity to one? Cleary Gerard looks nothing like Dumas. At least if nothing else, an actor that more fairly portrays him.

  31. 31

    I am a quarter black and 3/4 white and you can't even really tell I am anything but caucasian. I actually have fairer skin than most white people. It seems silly to be so concerned with what race the actor is; movie make up artists are amazing.

  32. 32

    Re: BabyPink_FL – Red, white, and blue are associated with freedom and are the colors of the french flag. They are just saying they want to hire models from the country in which the company originated. France is extremely diverse in ethnicities and has always been more accepting of minorities than other "free" countries.

  33. 33

    Re: BabyPink_FL

    Do not generalize what you said about the film to all the French people .
    Remember that we could be more open minded than you are .
    And if you say that you travelled all around the world and etc , then why don't you show a more open minded opinion ? So lame generalizing . It's like saying " All Americans are stupid and fat " .

  34. 34

    so if this is ok lets have a half black person play a white person then you'll say that's racist too you all are a bunch of dumb fucks

  35. 35

    Re: DanaDane87 – +1 . Thanks for ur post
    In fact blue & red are the colors of Paris and white is the color of the King .

  36. 36

    Re: PrinceD – I think it would be great for more cross ethnicity acting, either way. Its exciting to see the transformation actors can make and the talent of the make up artists and special effects crew. I'm all for it.

  37. 37

    No controversy here - these people are too sensitive. Plenty of black actors play white characters, and no one says anything.

  38. 38

    Reminder of why Gay People are more advanced. When a straight man plays a gay man, he gets an Oscar and people don't get into a huff. I'm cool with talent being rewarded, not race or sexual orientation.

  39. 39

    you spelled his name wrong it is Alexandre Dumas not Alexander Dumas

  40. 40

    You spelled his name wrong it is Alexandre Dumas not Alexander Dumas
    You spelled his name wrong it is Alexandre Dumas not Alexander Dumas
    You spelled his name wrong it is Alexandre Dumas not Alexander Dumas
    You spelled his name wrong it is Alexandre Dumas not Alexander Dumas
    You spelled his name wrong it is Alexandre Dumas not Alexander Dumas
    You spelled his name wrong it is Alexandre Dumas not Alexander Dumas
    You spelled his name wrong it is Alexandre Dumas not Alexander Dumas
    You spelled his name wrong it is Alexandre Dumas not Alexander Dumas
    You spelled his name wrong it is Alexandre Dumas not Alexander Dumas
    You spelled his name wrong it is Alexandre Dumas not Alexander Dumas

  41. 41

    Re: dontfeellikebeingcreative – go suck a black cock.

  42. 42

    Uh… Fred Armisen, who plays Obama on SNL, is white. Just sayin'

  43. 43

    oh my gosh i have been to france and they dont have a shortage of mixed people who could have been in that film. i actually liked depardieu, ill call this a lapse in judgement on his part

  44. 44

    Re: Harliqueen – will smith wasnt playing a historical figure, youve totally missed the point. he wasnt being henry the 8th, he was an entirely fictional character in that film

  45. 45

    its unfair because there are so few roles for non-whites in period dramas

  46. 46

    Re: jesyrene – say's Re: "dontfeellikebeingcreative – go suck a black cock."
    Thanks babe for proving my point so elequently.
    btw, a little black cock might do ya good!

    In closing, by all means please be fruitfull, but by the grace of God, don't go procreating.

  47. 47

    Gerard Depardieu is a fantastic actor and I think he was the right pick. Much ado about nothing.

  48. 48

    Re: dontfeellikebeingcreative – Point? What point? You didn't make a point. You pandered, black cock suckah!

  49. 49

    Re: giorgio85 – Joe Jackson, has green eyes, and has "european features "as you would call it. Does that make him white ?MJJ you poor mixed race person, you are really mixed up, aren't you? Be whatever you want, no one cares, only if you ever got caught breaking the law, you be referred to as black. If you turned out to be a genius, then the white people will do everything to white-wash you. You can buy into that if you want, till the day of rude awakening. Tiger Woods come to mind.

  50. 50

    Re: jesyrene – 1. Are you on drugs? 2. Perhaps alchohol? 3. Tanning booth messing with ur brain cells?

    Your reading comprehension leaves much to be desired.

  51. 51

    White People get on my last fu**king nerve. It is NOT discrimination to want a black actor to portray a man who was part black. Especially, when the fact that he was part black plays heavily into the story. Wake up a smell your own racism white people!

  52. 52


  53. 53


  54. 54

    He was "mixed" race possibly 1/4 black and 3/4 white so what's the problem?

  55. 55

    Ummm…the guy was 1/4 black and 3/4 white. Wouldn't it make more sense to have a white person play him considering he had mainly white features? I am half Jamaican and half German-American, but I have greenish hazel eyes, light skin (think Mariah Carey) and mostly white features. It wouldn't makes sense for Halle Berry to play me in a film.

  56. J.Mo says – reply to this


    Re: edna – but she doesn't look like Queen Elizabeth.

  57. J.Mo says – reply to this


    Re: vanhelsing bride – because he doesn't look white or like Alexandre Dumas?

  58. 58

    I'm half french as my mom is from France. I'm also part native american and irish. I see no problem with Depardieu playing this role. I've read all of Dumas
    books well who has not. He's a good actor he can pull it off. JMO.

  59. 59

    WTF?! Not okay. But why weren't more people upset by Tropic Thunder?

  60. 60

    Re: dontfeellikebeingcreative – Is there any financial gain from pandering? I love money, so if there's money to be gained from defending others passionately, count me in, black cock suckah!

  61. 61

    He is playing the white side

  62. 62

    Looks like my uncle. That crazy bastard had a weave that looked like roadkill and didn't know if he was coming or going.

  63. 63

    Re: jesyrene – I see that I've upset you. I'm sorry honey. (witness 4 the 1rst time in ur life,something bigger than urself)

  64. 64

    Hey I have a legit concern to raise! Why won't my comment appear?

    This french dude asks: "In 150 years time could the role of Barack Obama be played in a film by a white actor with a fuzzy wig?"

    This is happening RIGHT NOW ON SNL with Fred Armisen. Yeah, he's not exactly Conan O'Brien-level translucent, but Fred's not black either. And he KICKS ASS at imitating Obama. So, my point: if Gerard can do the job well, who cares? We obviously don't seem to care too much in SNL's case.

    Also, the only reason Gerard is playing Dumas is because Gerard plays literally every main character in every French movie ever. He is the Shahrukh Khan of France.

  65. 65

    oh, I'm an ass, totally didn't see that until after I posted. I should obviously just go to bed.

  66. 66

    Maybe they DID consider other races and just didn't personally call Perez Hilton to tell him about it??? PERHAPS he was the best person for the job??? I'm getting tired of you trying to create drama.

  67. 67

    Save your breath. Hollywood does shit like that all the time. Angelina Jolie has played not one but TWO black women….. One where she was "mixed" and the other where the role in the novel was a black woman and HOLLYWOOD just made it a White Woman…. Whatever, that shit is for white folks only…. People of color know the deal……………

  68. 68

    Re: Paris France – :
    Why do you feel the need to tell everywhere that you're half french ? I'm French and I don't give a f*ck about saying that I'm French everywhere . Being French doesn't mine that you're are superior to the others … ( yawn )

  69. 69

    Is Will Smith gay? no

    but he played gay in the movies!!!!!

    Its acting……………..ACTING

  70. 70

    It's called "acting", Perez, not brain surgery. Are you aware that your constant emphasis on race and skin colo makes you a racist? Nah, I didn't think so.

  71. 71

    I can understand in this case wanting someone who looks a little more dark, but to say a black actor should play someone who is 1/4 black is a little overkill. How do we know there is not some black in Gerard Depardieu's background. Should we start researching actor's backgrounds to make sure they have exactly the same ethnicity as the person they are potraying? Since Alexandre Dumas' coloring was a large part of his life than yes I believe a darker actor may have been a better choice, but I think screaming discrimination is a little much.

  72. 72

    This makes me laugh. Who gives a fuck whether the actor's black, white, blue or green?As long as he portrays the character in as accurate a light as possible then screw the PC brigade, making a huge deal out of nothing. It's funny how you never see them speak up when white people get the piss ripped out of them.

  73. 73

    i'm quite shoked by some comments here! I don't understand why some of you are talking about racism against white people. Obviously, the skin colour doesn't matter for an actor. And we all know that Gérard Depardieu is an amazing actor, i've seen loads of his films. The problem is that black or mixed race actors are not really represented in France. And I am sure that the script wouldn't have been changed for a black actor to play a white character. I am black, and I was born in France and live there. And trust me, French people don't accept minorities who are living here. Some of them have been here for 30 years and more. It's harder to get a job when you're black or arabic and it's not only because of the credit crunch!! Please, talk about the things you know and especially when you never lived in France because staying there just for holidays, it's not the same at all. There's a lot of racism going around at the moment, with apppaling statements made by politics about foreigners, even about people like me who were born here. I lived in London for a while and I can tell there's a big difference between France and anglo saxon countries. Of course race doesn't matter, but when you've been pointed out all your life on your skin colour, it's getting a bit tiring…Even if things are changing, really slowly, we are in 2010 but sometimes we're like living in the middle ages !!!

  74. 74

    G.D. is a superb actor,this debate is pointless.

  75. 75

    Re: jesyrene – ur a stupid, ignorant bith.
    did u not read the fucking post?
    would it make sense for Denzel Washington to play the part of George Bush in a movie?

  76. 76

    wow, i thought getting an acting job was about being the better actor. seriously perez u sound like a complete hypocrite on this one. for someone who shouts about equality and fairness for all-really? fairness is the fact that an amazing actor can pull off any role better than others no matter what color their freaking skin is or isn't. instead of whining about how a "mixed race" actor didn't get the part how about applauding the fact that an actor does his job so good he can portray someone of another race and make it believable! so what? you think people SHOULD get roles or positions in life or jobs based on their skin color and herritage and not their talent or skills? that's the part that sounds racist to me, and it's that exact reverse racism that keeps the fire burning-it works both ways people! people should or should not be awarded things based on color, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation-whatever, they should be awarded or not awarded things based on the things that matter, like their abilities. figure out which side you're fighting for perez and then go with it, enough of the going back and forth depending on the issues, when in fact it's all one issue and you come off looking ignorant. I say good for Gerard for earning his stripes as a very talented actor who probably just got the part because he DESERVED it!

  77. 77

    Re: ListenToMeInstead – if he was the most talented actor for the job and nailed the part-hell yes!

  78. 78

    I actually saw some pics of him online and Alexander Dumas looks white to me.Usually the movie industry is racist but they actually got it right this time.

  79. 79

    What fuss over nothing… you know who should've played him? Robert Downey Jr.'s character from Tropic Thunder.

  80. 80

    Re: Mawishka – Yawn….I did not mean it as being superior. We are all of the human race. Sorry you took it that way. Anyway kisses!!

  81. 81

    Re: BabyPink_FL
    You do not know much about the French in general. They have accepted others a long time ago and do not stop every second to mention race. A typical French woman is NOT blond, you are probably thinking about the German or Scandinavian. Gerard Depardieu is a very good actor and will do a good job .And you are missing out on L'Oreal, by far the best Beauty products out there.

  82. 82

    How do you know they didn't consider other actors ????? Who says they 'jumped the gun'????

  83. 83

    Re: CarolinaGirlCate – it sure and the fuck is bitch!!!!!!!

  84. 84

    Re: Indrid Cold – do the world a favor and KILL YOURSELF for that comment

  85. 85

    Re: jesyrene – bitch you go through the same thing african american been through and then only then you have the right to make that comment typical WHITE I only think about myself DEVIL!!!!

  86. 86

    Re: mjj1379 – how many yeras have african american been fucked by whites!!!! and people say racisim doesn't exist . Its funny how one race think they so dominant than the rest and thats why 9/11 happen because whits has fucked over so many races pray to yall blue eye blonde hair devil god that one day all those races donyt come together………………….

  87. 87

    Re: edna – Im riding with you im TEAM Edna today!!!

  88. 88

    Re: giorgio85Re: mjj1379 – I bet your mom was white so typical

  89. 89

    when Halle Berry does the Marilyn Monroe story, when Denzel Washington does the Jimmy Stewart story, when Monique does the Sophie Tucker story, Do I need to go on? oh I know when black actors can just be people in films and not THE BLACK PART!

  90. 90

    Theres no evidence other actors were not considered. The bottom line is, Depardieu is one of the world's most respected film actors. Im sure he will handle the role with the same artistry and respect he has always demonstrated. Its a fictionalized story based on a real life person. It doesnt have to be acurate down to blood type. Sheesh. Must be a slow news day.

  91. 91

    OMG! I am SO sick of this kind of crap! I seriously don't care what color or nationality he is or what color or nationality he's playing! Let him do his job!

  92. 92

    If people don't like who has been cast, then they should go make their own film and hire who THEY want.