Getty Images/Lionsgate

Getty Images/Lionsgate

We’ve been talking about Gods of Egypt for so long, it’s hard to believe the movie still hasn’t hit theaters yet. But as Lionsgate prepares for the controversial feature to make its February 26 debut next year, they’re finally addressing the elephant in the room: why a film based on African gods and humans has not one person of color to speak for it.

Forbes first published the official statement from the film studio Friday which read:

We recognize that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologize. Lionsgate is deeply committed to making films that reflect the diversity of our audiences. We have, can and will continue to do better.​​

Director Alex Proyas was a bit less apologetic, pulling that tired “I’m sorry to those who are offended” line that screams he doesn’t really see a problem with French, Australian, Swedish, and English actors depicting life in ancient Egypt but somebody told him he had to say something to get ahead of the foreseeable backlash. (Even though they’re already behind; we’ve been talking about this since last April.) Still, he stated:

“The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse. I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made.”

We guess it’s better than nothing, which is what we usually get — a point Ava DuVernay took note of on Twitter, essentially calling this apology unprecedented.

Let’s see if Lionsgate, which, as they stated, can and has done better, keeps their promise.


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