After receiving negative backlash for its predominantly white cast, director Alex Proyas and Lionsgate have issued statements of apology for the lack of diversity in their upcoming action romp, "Gods of Egypt."
Proyas addressed the controversial casting for "Gods of Egypt" in the following statement he issued today: "The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse. I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made."
Lionsgate reached out to Variety with their own statement of apology, promising to reflect diversity better in their future films: "We recognize that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologize. Lionsgate is deeply committed to making films that reflect the diversity of our audiences. We have, can and will continue to do better."
Lionsgate and Proyas' statements differ greatly from director Ridley Scott, who said the following, when asked about casting caucasians Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton in "Exodus: Gods and Kings": "I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such...I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up."
"Gods of Egypt" -- which has a cast that includes Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Chadwick Boseman, Geoffrey Rush, Elodie Yung and Courtney Eaton -- is slated for a February 26 release.