When you wonder how films like Green Book get made, you have to look to clueless execs who believe these white savior stories are what we actually want to see. But could you imagine if these same gatekeepers tried to pass off one of our actual Black heroes as a white person?
That would never happen, right?
Well…according to Gregory Allen, screenwriter and producer of the film Harriet, he came across this exact type of white nonsense when a film exec suggested that Julia Roberts play Harriet Tubman. You know, the former enslaved that used the Underground Railroad to free our ancestors from bondage.
“I was told how one studio head said in a meeting, ‘This script is fantastic. Let’s get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman,’” Allen explained in a Q&A with the film’s studio Focus Features. (Sadly, he did not share the name of the exec or say if they were still living.)
“When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, ‘It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.’”
Talk about the audacity of it all! How did this person figure we wouldn’t know the difference between our Black queen and Erin Brockovich? Make it make sense!
Whether this actually happened or Allen is just trolling us, naturally Black Twitter had all kinds of questions, so much so that #JuliaRoberts starting trending.
Here’s what they had to say:
Black Twitter Wants To Know In What Dimension Could Julia Roberts Ever Play Harriet Tubman? was originally published on hellobeautiful.com
What I imagine the tension in the room was like in that general meeting when that studio exec suggested to Julia Roberts that she could play Harriet Tubman.— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) November 20, 2019
Gonna tell my kids this is Julia Roberts pic.twitter.com/EKCO3jcGzJ— Jenniggafer Hopez (@Asia_Bean) November 20, 2019
...Hollywood reeeeally wants us negroes to like Cynthia huh?— ashley yates (@brownblaze) November 20, 2019
“LOOK. It coulda been muthafuckin Julia Roberts, ok? How happy would you be then, huh?” https://t.co/I9OQOVnkVU
I’m sorry, but I’m just imagining Julia Roberts screaming, “TO FREEDOM!” in blackface and... pic.twitter.com/GTcPWZYsfV— X (@XLNB) November 20, 2019
Clicking "Julia Roberts" trend. pic.twitter.com/EsH9e3ciRG— Mandy Cochran (@intinylines) November 20, 2019
JULIA ROBERTS WAS MENTIONED TO PORTRAY HARRIET WISH A BITCH WOULD TUBMAN pic.twitter.com/3RSWAaTHJP— NOT THE YADDAS (@ira_rose) November 20, 2019
They really was going to try to push Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman because it was “so long ago” and “know one would notice.” pic.twitter.com/SyM4y6Cn3D— ✨JenniferMarie✨ (@MsJLaw) November 20, 2019
Now, Julia Roberts was just minding her own business today...... pic.twitter.com/UdCSDxZnnS— You have neighbors, Malcolm! (@theKelizabeth82) November 20, 2019
“One studio head said in a meeting, ‘This script is fantastic. Let’s get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman. When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, ‘It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.'”— Kay Oyegun (Oh-yay-gun) (@KayOyegun) November 20, 2019
I HATE EVERYTHING!! https://t.co/4Pe6NfnIdk
yeah I'm not buying this Julia Roberts- Harriet Tubman thing. Someone's trolling, or just plain lying— Javier E. David (@TeflonGeek) November 20, 2019
Julia Roberts getting the call to play Harriet Tubman knowing Scarlett Johansson has something to do w it . pic.twitter.com/whZdhETqeL— MS. CLUTCH ♐😜😼😏💚 (@leleb3279) November 20, 2019
Scarlett Johansson seeing that Julia Roberts was considered for Harriet instead of her pic.twitter.com/CuZfFr2hx3— ❄️Sunset Boulevardez❄️ (@Kissesfromdes) November 20, 2019
That board meeting when the studio exec suggested Julia Roberts should play Harriet Tubman pic.twitter.com/Ki7h0y8ZJX— Hames (@jeymez) November 20, 2019
When you check to see why Julia Roberts is trending pic.twitter.com/f5CVsa9m99— khadz (@sweetkhadz) November 20, 2019
Me watching the Julia Roberts/Harriet Tubman story go viral in real time pic.twitter.com/ifJDKjUAKj— Memo Fantasma (@akiddo) November 20, 2019
I'd like to think Julia Roberts would have told that exec to go die in a fire. pic.twitter.com/3PyjSRNDK0— Lady Menopause First of Her Name of House Harris (@LadyMenopause) November 20, 2019
What kind of clownery... Julia Roberts pic.twitter.com/VhgsOIvitG— 𝓗𝓸𝓫𝓲'𝓼 𝓕𝓸𝓻𝓮𝓱𝓮𝓪𝓭 💜 (@PhotoChikk) November 20, 2019
also Julia Roberts pic.twitter.com/ri4b6hmnYs— stevesywonder 👨🚀 (@stevesywonder) November 20, 2019