Whitewashing In Hollywood: Films That Cast Non-Blacks In Black Roles

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William Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice” play has been adapted for the big screen numerous times. The most popular remake starred famed actor Laurence Olivier who infamously played the Moorish general in blackface. Olivier received an Oscar nomination for his efforts. Thirty years later, Laurence Fishburne was cast as the first Black actor to portray Othello in a major motion picture release. Although it received positive reviews, “Othello” tanked at the box office.

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