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…