Lee Daniels’ highly-anticipated film, “The Butler,” sparked a heated debate on social media after a photograph from the film made its rounds on the internet. A still from the movie, which follows Eugene Allen (Forest Whitaker), a head butler at the White House, displays Mariah Carey as a slave picking cotton in the field.

The photograph immediately drew backlash as several people on social media expressed that someone of Mariah Carey’s complexion wouldn’t work in the field. They believe her pale complexion would render her a house slave. To that end, there are also some Twitter users who feel a darker-skinned woman should have been picked for Mariah Carey’s role.

One critic tweeted “She wouldn’t even be a house slave, she could pass as white,” and another posted “Zoe Saldana is Nina Simone and Mariah Carey is in the fields taking good slave acting jobs from dark-skinned peoples.”

Whether we’re discussing Zoe Saldana’s casting as Nina Simone or Mariah’s as a field slave, it feels like the colorism debate won’t end anytime soon. What do you think of the criticism of Mariah Carey’s photograph and casting, Clutchettes?

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  • wow. some of you people are straight up ignorant. they were such thing a slight skinned field slaves as well. Before you go crazy with the verbal diarrhea, how about some of you do some homework?

  • Youwishyoucouldbeme

    Newsflash: Some lightskinned Blacks were field slaves and some darkskinned Blacks were house slaves. Sorry people don’t know history. Most slaves, regardless of complexion, were field slaves, because most plantations were actually small farms, not large, sprawling estates.

    • Poppa don

      There were white slaves in the fields picking cotton during slavery.

  • John

    What will be interesting to see is if Tavis Smiley and the rest of you that were so upset about the movie “The Help” because it had black women as “maids” will be just as angry and condemnitory about “The Butler” with a black man as a “butler”.

    As a matter of fact I’m seeing alot of enthusiasm for this movie. Why?

    Why the difference in attitudes in black America for “The Help” and “The Butler”?

  • Brenda Stevenson

    Enslaved females of all color worked in both the fields and in the homes of their owners. Many slave women, regardless of their color, did both kinds of work since many slaveholders did not have enough slaves to have a distinct household work staff.