Casting Dispute Over White Woman In Blackface Halted ‘Harriet’ Production

Brooke Brown
December 2, 2019

Audiences eagerly anticipated the release of Harriet Tubman’s triumphant tale in theaters.

But “Harriet” screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard shocked us all with his recent confession.

It took 20+ YEARS to assemble the creative team responsible for bringing this overdue biopic to life!

The reason for the holdup? Howard revealed in an Entertainment Weekly interview that when the film was originally pitched in 1994, one Tinseltown decision-maker had his heart set on JULIA ROBERTS to play Tubman. 

We wish this unnamed executive’s audacity ended there but no...

When reminded of the obvious - that Julia Roberts, a white woman, would need to be covered in deeply racist blackface in order to be cast and frankly could NEVER portray a former BLACK enslaved woman in any authentic way - the executive insisted “it was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.”

Thankfully, Hollywood has learned a valuable lesson since then. 

Those of us invested in the narratives of Black historical figures will NOT support such blatant disrespect and will ensure that consequences hit where it hurts: on their bottom lines.

Not only that, but media moguls like Tyler Perry and other independent filmmakers continue to keep our tastes in mind and have our heroes’ backs. 

They would NEVER pass up talented deserving Black actresses in favor of a racist substitute.

We have a quick favor to ask:

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