When movie director Ridley Scott explained the reason for his ahistorical, white cast in his film “Exodus” he provoked outrage. Scott had told an interviewer: “I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such. I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”
In a piece that seemed to get substantial circulation on the left judging by social media, writer David Dennis, Jr. complained that “Scott’s response is pompous, flippant and doesn’t make an ounce of sense. The idea that Ridley Scott can’t get a movie funded off of his name alone is absolutely ridiculous.”
This focus on Scott rather than the institutional structure of Hollywood is politically perverse. The mindset of an individual director is of very little interest. However, the nature of the Hollywood system that Scott pointed to is of great public interest indeed. That is where the public scrutiny should be directed.