Tim Burton Dances Around The Subject Of Diversity In His New Film

The director spoke to Bustle about the casting for "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children."

Watching the trailer for “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” it’s not difficult to notice the main cast of characters is predominantly white ― with the notable exception of Samuel L. Jackson, who plays a villain. 

In a recent interview with Bustle, director Tim Burton was asked about the movie’s lack of diversity, which warranted what might be the most vague response about the issue we’ve heard in a while. 

“Nowadays, people are talking about it more,” he said about diversity in Hollywood, adding, “things either call for things, or they don’t.”

He continued, “I remember back when I was a child watching ‘The Brady Bunch’ and they started to get all politically correct, like, OK, let’s have an Asian child and a black — I used to get more offended by that than just — I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, that’s great. I didn’t go like, OK, there should be more white people in these movies.”

Sorry, what? Burton just danced around the subject without really providing an explanation at all. 

Jackson, who appears to be the only character of color according to Bustle, was also asked about the film’s lack of diversity. His answer wasn’t any better. 

“I had to go back in my head and go, how many black characters have been in Tim Burton movies?” Jackson said. “And I may have been the first, I don’t know, or the most prominent in that particular way, but it happens the way it happens. I don’t think it’s any fault of his or his method of storytelling, it’s just how it’s played out. Tim’s a really great guy.”

We’re sure Burton is a great guy, and we’re sure the cast of “Miss Peregrine’s” is talented and deserving of their roles. But Hollywood needs to do more to embrace diversity ― or at the very least, do a better job of understanding the value it brings and the impact it has on viewers. 



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