Will Smith “not black enough” to play Richard Williams


Will Smith in "Bright" © Netflix

The announcement of Will Smith’s casting in the upcoming biopic of “King Richard” about Serena and Venus Williams’ father has divided opinion with critics calling for a change in the casting of the movie.

Will Smith, one of Hollywood’s most respected actors ended up in the middle of a debate on colorism this week with critics suggesting that skin color in the casting process needs to be considered more carefully. With the film industry already grappling with a diversity crisis and people calling for more opportunities for minorities and women, the colorism debate appears to have taken this one step further.

Critics of the casting announcement felt that the decision to choose Will Smith over other actors including Don Cheadle or Idris Elba was a mistake and that his skin tone was not dark enough to portray Williams:

However not everyone agreed with that assessment. Others have argued the debate on colorism is “fake outrage” and this is more about a community of people that are jealous about him being cast in the movie.

The film industry has faced a number of problems for several years and production companies are under added pressure on casting decisions, production roles and character portrayals. Just last year, GLAAD said that Hollywood studios were "failing" to place LGBTQ characters in their pictures.

Will Smith's casting in the upcoming "Aladdin" movie was also controversial with critics arguing that he wasn't blue, and that it made no sense for him to take on the role.

Are you going to see Will Smith play Richard Williams in the upcoming "King Richard" movie? Share your opinion with us: @filminetwork

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