It’s not out of bounds to say that Woody Allen movies are pretty damn white. The filmmaker has never been known for his radical inclusion of diverse characters or actors in his projects. And for the most part, that has largely been accepted. However, with inclusion and diversity becoming hot button issues in recent years, studios and filmmakers have made strides in trying to be more diverse with content.
But according to the filmmaker’s memoir (via Vulture), he doesn’t see a problem with how he casts films. In fact, he considers himself a pretty big ally and supporter of diversity in his private life, even if it’s not evident on screen.
“I’ve taken some criticism over the years that I didn’t use African-Americans in my movies,” wrote Allen. “And while affirmative action can be a fine solution in many instances, it does not work when it comes to casting. I always cast the person who fits the part most believably in my mind’s eye.”
He continued, “When it comes to the politics of race, I have always been a typical liberal and sometimes maybe even radical. I marched in Washington with Martin Luther King, donated heavily to the ACLU when they needed extra to push the Voting Rights Act, named my children after my African-American heroes and said publicly in the 1960s that I was in favor of African-Americans achieving their goals by any means necessary. Anyhow, when it comes to casting, I do not go by politics but by what feels dramatically correct to me. “
Interestingly, this is a similar defense presented for why Allen isn’t concerned about his #MeToo controversies. Back in September, the filmmaker opened up about how he supports #MeToo, in spite of folks claiming that he’s an example of why the movement exists, and why his past regarding women shows how great of a supporter he is. Clearly, this is the same idea that he presents to defend his lack of diversity.
We’ve seen folks like Zoe Kravitz criticize Allen for his lack of diversity in the past. This explanation will probably do little to convince her and other detractors that the filmmaker is actually an ally. But we shall see.
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