Erasing black people from history is not exactly new in Hollywood but there is an Oscar-buzzworthy film coming out this year that is catching heat for doing just that.
The Beguiled is about the Civil War and is directed by Oscar-winning director Sofia Coppola. Coppola is being accused of whitewashing the adaptation of the book that had much more diversity in its characters.
Coppola’s movie stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Colin Farrell and Elle Fanning among others but left out a major part that was a standout in the 1971 book. This character was a slave who looked after an injured Union soldier.
In addressing her decision, Coppola said she left out certain characters because she didn’t want to focus on the race elements of the story but rather the gender dynamics.
“Young girls watch my films and this was not the depiction of an African-American character I would want to show them,” she said.
Later saying to the Los Angeles Times, “In the book there was a slave character… and it was treated in a very stereotypical way. It didn’t seem respectful. I thought it was too big of a subject to brush over lightly, so I decided not to have that character at all.”
As to why she couldn’t simply have improved on the black characters instead of cutting them out entirely, well, she hasn’t yet shared her reasoning on that.
Saw the trailer for Sofia Coppola's remake of The Beguiled… Why erase the ONE Black woman character from the original film & book ?? pic.twitter.com/MtCZX2fHc0
— Chauncey K. Robinson (@MsChaunceyKR) June 11, 2017
I don't want to see Sofia Coppola tackle racism in America and I can't really see why anyone would
— nuanced opinion guy (@charles_kinbote) June 17, 2017
So pissed off at Sofia Coppola's reasons for erasing Hattie from "The Beguiled" I may skip it. Once again: Black women aren't really women.
— Brandon David Wilson (@Geniusbastard) June 18, 2017
— Ex machination (@inkalypse) June 19, 2017
Sofia Coppola has always been a feminism is for white women filmmaker but now she's legit cutting black women out of narratives completely
— black protagonist (@mistyknights) June 19, 2017
Sofia Coppola made civil war movie "about women" and blantantly removed all the black women from the script 🤔🙄😒 https://t.co/BSp83eWMUK
— KIM ANH (@kim_anh) June 26, 2017