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Dakota Fanning Explains Why Her New Movie Role Is NOT Whitewashing!

Dakota Fanning responds to white washing claims.

Dakota Fanning wants you to know she is NOT playing a woman of another race in her new film!

The Once Upon A Time In Hollywood actress took to social media on Thursday to address the backlash over her upcoming drama-romance, Sweetness in the Belly.

A preview for the film was released earlier this week, leading to some outrage-inducing headlines from news outlets. Deadline tweeted, “First Clip Of Dakota Fanning As A White Ethiopian Muslim In Refugee Drama-Romance.”

One specific aspect of that, as you might guess, was enough to set some critics off.

Related: ‘Queer Eye’ & Netflix Deny Involvement In Alleged Old Navy ‘Whitewashing’

Dozens of social media users accused the film of white washing, believing Elle Fanning‘s older sister was playing an Ethiopian woman — and had therefore taken the lead role from black Ethiopian actresses. Writer Muhammad Butt had this to say: 

But Dakota is attempting to nip this controversy in the bud right now.

The 25-year-old cleared the air in a post on her Instagram Stories, insisting she does “not play an Ethiopian woman” in the film, despite the clickbait-y headlines suggesting otherwise. Apparently, she plays a white British woman who “journeys to Ethiopia”!

Video: This Powerful PSA Shows The Effects Of Whitewashing In Movies

Explaining how the film is based on a 2005 book of the same name about a *white* Muslim nurse, she wrote:

“Just to clarify. In the new film I’m part of, Sweetness in the Belly, I do not play an Ethiopian woman. I play a British woman abandoned by her parents at seven years old in Africa and raised Muslim. My character, Lilly, journeys to Ethiopia and is caught up in the breakout of civil war. She is subsequently sent ‘home’ to England, a place she is from but has never known.”

Well, there you have it!

The actress went on to share more details about the film, which she said is about “what home means to people who find themselves displaced and the families and communities that they choose and that choose them.”

She added: 

“Based on a book by Camilla Gibb, this film was partly made in Ethiopia, is directed by an Ethiopian man and features many Ethiopian women. It was a great privilege to be part of telling this story.”

Great to hear, gurl!

Sweetness in the Belly is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Meanwhile, it looks like Dakota Fanning will live to act another day without being canceled.

What do YOU think of the explanation??

[Image via WENN]

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Sep 05, 2019 16:04pm PDT