This blockbuster director just apologized for not making a more diverse movie

Last week, when the Gods of Egypt trailer hit the Internet, thousands noticed there was something a bit off, to say the very least — and not just because of its bizarre use of green screen. It’s no secret that Hollywood has a major whitewashing problem, but the lack of diversity present in the trailer was absolutely appalling.

The film, which includes Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Chadwick Boseman, Geoffrey Rush, Elodie Yung, and Courtney Eaton, is out in theaters in February 2016, but already the trailer has (rightly) infuriated social media. Many took to Twitter to express their outrage over the blatant lack of inclusive casting in a film that is about Egyptian history:

Amidst the backlash, the film’s director, Alex Proyas, recently issued an apology statement. “The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse,” Proyas said in the statement, according to Variety. “I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made.”

Lionsgate also released a statement apologizing for the severe lack of diversity:

Many critics find the apology to be lackluster, at best.

Last year, there was a similar controversy surrounding Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings. Starring Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Ramses, the film was banned in Egypt for historical inaccuracies, but Scott defended his choices.

“I can’t mount a film of this budget, where I have to rely on tax rebates in Spain, and say that my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such,” Scott said before the film’s release, according to Variety. “I’m just not going to get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”

It’s evident that there’s a major issue with diversity and whitewashing in the film industry, and we have a long way to go. We can only help Lionsgate has learned from this major casting mistake.

(Images via Twitter.)