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‘Harriet’ star responds to Julia Roberts casting rumours

“They need to be tarred and feathered”

Clarke Peters, who performs Harriet Tubman’s father in a brand new biopic of the African American abolitionist, has mentioned {that a} studio government who pitched Julia Roberts for the lead position must be “tarred and feathered”.

In accordance with Harriet screenwriter Gregory Allen, Julia Roberts was initially the studio’s first selection, regardless of the position requiring her to play blackface.

Cynthia Erivo – who NME interviewed final week – is at the moment garnering Oscar buzz for her position as Tubman in Kasi Lemons’ biopic Harriet, which depicts her extraordinary escape from slavery and transformation into certainly one of America’s biggest heroes.

Fortunately, Roberts was by no means forged within the position and Peters (The Wire, His Darkish Supplies) labelled the unnamed studio government “silly” for suggesting her.

“Whoever that studio government was must be tarred and feathered,” he mentioned. “How silly are you able to get? If it was as much as this man to determine, we wouldn’t have any cease lights. One thing as blatantly apparent as that.”

Peters went on to explain the feedback as a “misappropriation” of black folks’s tradition, and an instance that typified US society.

“Such is the world you already know, significantly for African Individuals,” he mentioned. “The contribution of African Individuals to American tradition is one thing that has all the time been pushed apart and misappropriated.”

Later, the 67-year-old actor mentioned criticism of Erivo by those that claimed a British actress shouldn’t have accepted the position of such a celebrated American civil rights hero.

“Most likely a British particular person couldn’t [play Harriet Tubman], however a black British particular person might, so let’s put that in perspective to begin with,” mentioned Peters. “Secondly, she is a primary technology Brit and I feel in the event you had been Harriet, what you’ll see is just not this homogenous face of black folks that you just see in America in the present day. You’ll see the extra Afrocentric-looking people who find themselves first technology and I feel it was completely correct casting.”

He added: “Let actors act. Allow us to do our job relatively than stereotyping to the purpose the place you must get an actor from the identical nation to play a job. It doesn’t make any sense. These kind of observations, as a result of I can’t even say it’s a critique, are a waste of time.”

Clarke Peters is at the moment starring in BBC and HBO co-production His Darkish Supplies, a multi-series adaptation of Philip Pullman’s celebrated fantasy novels. He performs The Grasp of Jordan School within the present.

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