Lionsgate studio and Australian filmmaker Alex Proyas have both issued apologies for the casting choices in "Gods of Egypt" after coming under heavy criticism for the nearly all-white cast in the movie set in Ancient Egypt.
"The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse," Proyas said, according to Forbes . "I sincerely apologise to those who are offended by the decisions we made."
For its part, the studio was more direct in admitting fault, avoiding the cliche "apologise to those who are offended" line:
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.
African-American actor Chadwick Boseman is one of the only non-white actors in a major role, with Scotsman Gerard Butler and Dane Nikolaj Coster-Waldau starring as warring Egyptian gods.
The criticism of the movie began in 2014 as the first casting announcements were made, making the studio's mea culpa only two months before its February 2016 release small comfort.
Many people on social media were unmoved by the apologies, noting that the long history of Hollywood whitewashing other cultures makes it hard to understand why the studio is surprised by the reaction.
In an odd twist to the story, it turns out that Proyas was actually born in Egypt, in Alexandria to Greek parents. Since the family moved to Australia when he was 3 years old, perhaps he just never realized that Egyptians don't look like him?