When you wonder how films like Green Book get made, you have to look to clueless execs who believe these white savior stories are what we actually want to see. But could you imagine if these same gatekeepers tried to pass off one of our actual Black heroes as a white person?
That would never happen, right?
Well…according to Gregory Allen, screenwriter and producer of the film Harriet, he came across this exact type of white nonsense when a film exec suggested that Julia Roberts play Harriet Tubman. You know, the former enslaved that used the Underground Railroad to free our ancestors from bondage.
“I was told how one studio head said in a meeting, ‘This script is fantastic. Let’s get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman,’” Allen explained in a Q&A with the film’s studio Focus Features. (Sadly, he did not share the name of the exec or say if they were still living.)
“When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, ‘It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.’”
Talk about the audacity of it all! How did this person figure we wouldn’t know the difference between our Black queen and Erin Brockovich? Make it make sense!
Whether this actually happened or Allen is just trolling us, naturally Black Twitter had all kinds of questions, so much so that #JuliaRoberts starting trending.
Here’s what they had to say: