Harriet Tubman is considered to be a hero and one of the most influential African Americans in history. However, there was a time when actress Julia Roberts was recommended to portray her on film, at least according to recent rumors. This seems to be an odd recommendation for an obvious reason; Roberts is a white woman. Talk show host Wendy Williams gave her take on this issue during a recent episode of The Wendy Williams Show, according to Yahoo! News.
Williams thought it was absolutely ridiculous that Roberts’ name was ever even brought up for this role. She pointed out that it is important for black children to learn about African American history and to see African American actors and actresses portraying these roles as they were intended.
“Are you serious? It’s bad enough that we don’t get enough black history taught to our children in present day, but I think that the one person they definitely know is Harriet Tubman.”
Earlier this month, the movie Harriet was released. The inspiring film tells the harrowing story of Tubman who put her own life in danger while trying to free other African Americans from slavery through the Underground Railroad. During a recent question-and-answer session, Gregory Allen Howard, the screenwriter for the film, revealed that an executive had recommended Roberts for the film when it was first pitched 25 years ago.
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“It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference,” Howard said of the statement the executive made at the time about the casting decision.
African American actress Cynthia Erivo was ultimately chosen to take on this important role. A decision that probably makes a lot more sense than Roberts. What isn’t clear is whether or not Roberts knew she had been recommended for this part and what her response was.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, this whole Roberts as Harriet Tubman controversy raised quite a stir on social media and Williams wasn’t the only one shocked and disturbed by it. Many people used this as an example to point out that Hollywood executives might not always have a good perception of the intelligence of consumers, or lack thereof.
“I think this Julia Roberts Harriet Tubman sh*t shows you just how stupid Hollywood executives are,” tweeted one user.
“If you’re chasing a Hollywood dream and feel doubtful you’ll ever make it, remember there are executives getting paid sh*t loads of money to suggest JULIA ROBERTS should play Harriet Tubman,” wrote Vulture editor Jordan Crucchiola.