Media sources report that Woody Allen is at the center of criticism surrounding the omission of black actors from the Broadway adaptation of his hit film “Bullets Over Broadway.” This is especially noticeable since the feature includes a scene set in Harlem’s Cotton Club.
“Casting was considering a big-name African-American actor for the play, but Woody passed because he just got the idea that a Black gangster wouldn’t be good,” a source told the New York Daily News. “One man wasn’t asked back and then was told it was Woody who didn’t want any Black gangsters.”
A representative for Allen insisted to the Daily News that the film director didn’t cast based on race. “It has always been Woody Allen’s priority to cast the exact appropriate person for a role regardless of race, which has never been a consideration,” the rep explained.
Allen isn’t the only person receiving a backlash from not having black actors in front of the camera. In an interview with TheHighCalling.org, Ari Handel, screenwriter for the hit film “Noah,” addressed those who noticed how no black actors were cast in the feature.
“From the beginning, we were concerned about casting, the issue of race. What we realized is that this story is functioning at the level of myth, and as a mythical story, the race of the individuals doesn’t matter,” said Handel, who wrote the script for “Noah” with the film’s director Darren Aronofsky. They’re supposed to be stand-ins for all people. Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise.”
“You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to [race], or you just say, ‘Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with [the] Everyman,’” he continued.