Tim Burton’s Answer for Lack of Casting Diversity Inflames Fans

Star of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” Samuel L. Jackson admits he “may have been the first” black actor in a Burton film

Tim Burton got himself into some hot water on Thursday after trying to explain to a reporter why there aren’t many white people in his movie adaptation of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” which opens in theaters this weekend.

“Nowadays, people are talking about it more,” he told The Bustle regarding the topic of diversity in film.

“Things either call for things, or they don’t. 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.”

The director’s explanation proved the opposite of convincing to a lot of people who starting talking about it on Twitter, helping make “Tim Burton” a trending topic.

“I had to go back in my head and go, how many black characters have been in Tim Burton movies?” Samuel L. Jackson, who is the only star of color in “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” told The Bustle. “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.”

Expressing disappointment over Burton’s comments and the lack of diversity in his films, one dismayed fan wrote, “As I got older I realized his worlds have no one who looks like me.”

Another self-professed fan also voiced disappointment:

One Twitter user pointed out that Burton not only casts mostly white people, but he also casts mostly the same white people in his films. Among them is Johnny Depp, who has appeared in a whopping eight Burton films, starting with 1990’s “Edward Scissorhands.”

This user approved of the director’s comments:

This user was against: