Leave it up to Newsweek to ask the question if a movie is diverse enough. The move in question is “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Tim Burton who brought us “Big Fish“, “Planet of the Apes” and many other films.
Newsweek noticed that the five main characters are all white and asked Burton if he ever considered diversifying the cast. Burton responded, “We did, actually, but if you start to do it, it’s like what they would do at the end of certain sitcoms-they would suddenly try to make them interracial, and it was I found, more offensive,” He goes on to say “It was the politicall correct thing to do and it rang false.” After all, the Roald Dahl book upon which the movie is based doesn’t specify, Charlie’s race and illustrations that have been published have been of a scrawny white boy.
While Burton says that his interpretation of the book led him to see Charlie as an “ordinary kid” Newsweek says many ordinary kids aren’t white. Yet, taken in context with the turn of the century setting of the book, most of the kids were white. Even the chairman of the diversity committee of the Casting Society of America says he doesn’t see doesn’t see the lack of diversity as malicious.
So if Hollywood isn’t complaining why is Newsweek? If there is an industry more devoted to diversity and political correctness than Hollywood I would like to know what it is. Well I guess the mainstream media runs a close second. Maybe Newsweek discovered Burton is a closet conservative and this is an effort to paint him as a prejudiced boob.
Give Burton credit for standing up to the diversity police at Newsweekand thank him for giving ordinary kids another deligtful fantasy.