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John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight Asks How Whitewashing in Hollywood Is Still a Thing (But Really, How Is It Still a Thing?)

Hollywood has another big whitewashing moment this weekend when Gods of Egyptstarring Scotsman Gerard Butler as the Egyptian god Set, comes out in theaters. It’s yet another instance of a white actor playing a person (or, well, a god) of color, a tradition that has a long and surprisingly persistent legacy in Hollywood; the past 18 months alone have seen Emma Stone play a hapa woman in Aloha, and Ridley Scott cast white stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings because he couldn’t do a big-budget film with “Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such.” John Oliver runs through a brief history on his segment “How Is this Still a Thing?” which is an entirely appropriate question to ask.

John Oliver Skewers Whitewashing in Hollywood