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.”
I'm disappointed in Tim Burton. His aesthetic shaped my adolescence, but as I got older I realized his worlds have no one who looks like me.
— Juniper the Gooseman (@Jennifer_deG) September 29, 2016
Another self-professed fan also voiced disappointment:
it's sad because Tim Burton is one of my favorites and I would love to see black people in his aesthetic but *shrug* nothing new
— sage???? (@TAMARAJUANA) September 29, 2016
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.”
Wait, you're saying Tim Burton, who casts the same 2 actors in every movie, doesn't think diversity is necessary?
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) September 29, 2016
This user approved of the director’s comments:
Oh look, people are upset that Tim Burton doesn't forcibly insert racial stereotypes into his films just to pander to millenials.
— Pepe the Frog (@YTM1staWu1fy) September 29, 2016
This user was against:
"No one said the Brady Bunch needed diversity!" That's why your hair is running away from your face, Tim Burton.
— JNG (@thewayoftheid) September 29, 2016