Backlash erupts over Tim Burton's defence of white cast in Miss Peregrine

Ben Arnold
UK Movies Writer

With diversity in the movies still its hottest topic, Tim Burton has been grilled on why his latest movie, ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’, features almost entirely white actors.

Aside from the inclusion of Samuel L. Jackson as the villain character Barron, the casting is notable for its lack of diversity.

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Asked about the move, Burton told Bustle: “Nowadays, people are talking about it more.

“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.”

Now a backlash has erupted over his comments, many calling out the director for his excuses.







Others were less sympathetic, however:



Just to make things additionally awkward, Jackson was also asked about what he thought of the racial profile of the film, admitting that he had ‘noticed it’.

“I had to go back in my head and go, how many black characters have been in Tim Burton movies?” Jackson added.

“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.”

Jackson and Burton’s detractors have a point, however. There is a distinct lack of the non-caucasian in Burton’s 36 movies, with Jackson as the first black man in one of his leading roles.

Elsewhere, Billy Dee Williams played Harvey Dent in ‘Batman’, while Michael Clarke Duncan was Colonel Attar in his take on ‘Planet of the Apes’, but both were supporting roles.

Image credits: Fox/PA