July 23, 2019
Photo courtesy of YouTube screengrab
The trailer for Harriet, starring Cynthia Erivo is finally here despite the online criticism of the 31-year-old London-born actress being cast. Last year, an online petition surfaced, condemning Erivo from playing the American Abolitionist, to which she responded in an emotional post on Instagram.
Good for her! The Tony award-winning actress will join Janelle Monae and Leslie Odom Jr. in the film, that will focus on Tubman’s life, including her time as a Union spy and her now-historic rise as one of the leading rescuers of the Underground Railroad. Watch below.
Looks good, right? Unfortunately, the upset surrounding Erivo being cast is nothing new. In 2017 Samuel L. Jackson spoke out about Daniel Kaluuya (he’s also British) being cast in Get Out. “There are a lot of black British actors in these movies. I tend to wonder what that movie [‘Get Out’] would have been with an American brother who really feels that.” He continued, “What would a brother from America have made of that role? Some things are universal, but not everything.”
Kaluuya responded by saying, “I resent that I have to prove that I’m black. I’m dark-skinned, bro. When I’m around black people I’m made to feel ‘other’ because I’m dark-skinned. I’ve had to wrestle with that, with people going ‘You’re too black.’ Then I come to America and they say, ‘You’re not black enough.’ I go to Uganda, I can’t speak the language. In India, I’m black. In the black community, I’m dark-skinned. In America, I’m British.”
He does have a point. Harriet hits theaters November 1.
TELL US: Will you make it to the theaters to see Harriet?