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After the critical and box office success of Straight Out of Compton, there’s been big buzz surrounding the upcoming biopic of Tupac Shakur biopic Thug Life, produced by Quentin Tarantino (Hateful 8) Spike Lee (Malcolm X) and Michael Caton (The Castle), is being directed by Hip Hop video veteran, Joaquin Phoenix and has been making news as it glides through the film festival award season.
Although the Thug Life is already tipped for an appearance at the 2017 Academy Awards, the studio behind the film distributor has been receiving extreme criticism from members of the black community, over allegedly ‘whitewashing’ a uniquely African-American story.
“Paramount Pictures, and everyone who has had anything to do with the making of this film should be ashamed,” says prominent NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) leader, Rachel Dolezal.
“To cast Ryan Gosling as Tupac Shakur is a typical Hollywood move to soften and whitewash our story. Tupac was not white, he was the furthest thing from white,”
“And Ryan Gosling is the furthest thing from black,”
The film, which stars several non-African-American characters in title roles that portray actual African-Americans, has created a social media storm with moviegoers both defending and criticising the production.
“This is perfectly fine. Ryan Gosling is an actor… He’s not actually Tupac you idiots” tweeted one social media user.
“Iggy Azalea as FAITH EVANS!? WHAT THE FUCK! She’s too white to play Faith Hill!” tweeted another.
Paramount Pictures are yet to comment, however the film’s lead, Ryan Gosling, has commented on the outrage.
“I have been a lifelong fan of Pac’s music,” said the Hollywood star
“I don’t think something as trivial as race should be taken into account when telling the story of Tupac Shakur,”
“He was loved by all,”
The movie, which is set to hit Australian cinemas in April, covers the life of the slain rapper from the start of his music career; covering the East Coast/West Coast rivalry involving The Notorious B.I.G (Seth Rogan), his time at Death Row Records, and the events leading up to his 1996 death.