You can count on fans these days to tell whether an actor is fit to play a role or not. A recent example of this is the outrage on Twitter condemning a screenwriter for considering Leonardo DiCaprio to play the role of a Persian poet. According to News Australia, the works of renowned poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi resonated with fans over the years, but it is only now that the story of his life will finally be told on the big screen.
Unfortunately, getting DiCaprio to play the role doesn?t sit well with the audience and the issue of Hollywood whitewashing emerges again. The plan was promising as producer Stephen Bowen Brown and screenwriter David Franzoni revealed that the portrayal of Rumi will be something of a challenge and that they want to break the stereotypes attached to Muslims. Interesting as it sounded, the moment DiCaprio?s name was mentioned, even pairing it with Robert Downey Jr., to cast in ?Rumi?, everything went down the drain.
The issue is not about Leonardo?s capability to play the role, it is about Hollywood?s lack of diversity that intensifies the whitewashing issue. Featured on the Salon is a tweet that questions the role. In fact, it couldn?t be clearer as @madihasaj said ?So, Idris Elba can’t play Bond because that is a white character but Leonardo DiCaprio can play Rumi. #RumiWasntWhite.? Another from @gildedspine post ?#RumiWasntWhite. We continue to have our heroes and important stories coveted…as long as we are not part of them.?
Brown?s idea of casting Leonardo DiCaprio as ?Rumi? was also lambasted on the site Lainey Gossip. which had this to say: ?You can?t talk about making a movie to challenge the ?stereotypes? of Muslims?translation: ?We?re not making a movie about terrorists??and then try to whitewash important Muslim historical figures. Rumi and Shams were real people. They were demonstrably not white. And don?t give me any Indo-European light-skinned crap?they weren?t white. Full stop. The end. If you cast DiCaprio and RDJ as Rumi and Shams, you are actively whitewashing these roles…That?s the level of casting we?re talking about.?
What do you think of Leonardo DiCaprio?s possible role in Rumi? Do you share the same sentiment as the others? For more update on the ?Rumi? film, read on TheBitBag.com.