The Root (US), December 23, 2015

Exposed: How Keanu Reeves’ Newest Film Got Whitewashed

by Danielle C. Belton

Originally called Daughter of God and directed by a black filmmaker who has since removed his name from the project, Exposed is Hollywood’s latest attempt to erase the work of people of color.

In a world where people are taking to the streets, saying “Black lives matter”—where TV shows and films like Empire, Selma, Jane the Virgin, Straight Outta Compton, Fresh Off the Boat and Black-ish are getting high ratings and winning awards—one movie studio allegedly said no to all that diversity and instead chose to take us back to a “simpler” time when all your intimate black and brown dramas were instead predominantly white, bland vehicles for stars like Keanu Reeves.

That studio is Lionsgate. The film is Daughter of God. And the accusation is whitewashing.

An indie drama by a Jamaican-American first-time director, Gee Malik Linton, Daughter of God was supposed to be a quiet, surreal story about a Latina woman and the Dominican family she lives with, featuring subplots about violence against women and the twin effects of mass incarceration and police brutality on black and Latino communities. But now, because of drastic changes in the film’s edit, Daughter of God has become Exposed, a generic, middling thriller debuting this January and starring Reeves. Large subplots involving Latino and black characters have been cut, and the trailer features predominantly white faces.

“You need the white guy,” said Mark Downie, an original producer of the film, when describing what happened to Daughter of God. “So you remove so much of what’s special and unique of [the original] storyline and you take that square peg and you just try to drive that through that round hole for the sake of revenue.”

Linton, who also wrote Daughter of God, sued to have his name removed from the project—which now, according to IMDb, has been directed by a “Declan Dale.” While Linton did not comment on the apparent whitewashing of his film, a number of people directly involved did speak to The Root about what Lionsgate did.

“[We went] from a masterpiece to ‘here we go again,’ taking away the pure reality of the story, the core. Taking away everything because of Keanu Reeves, because he could sell more with his face,” said Gabriel Lopez, who acted in the film and is a native of New York City’s diverse Washington Heights neighborhood, where much of the movie was shot.

Lopez accused Lionsgate of being a “culture vulture,” of using the neighborhood and its people for the film, but not staying true to the film’s original vision, which he said was about highlighting Dominican-American culture.

Downie, who is a partner-producer with Battery Park Entertainment, was introduced to Linton by actor-activist Danny Glover in 2007, a year after Linton wrote the screenplay. Downie said that those who read the script, including Reeves, found it to be “very powerful.”

According to Downie and others interviewed, before it became Exposed, more than half of Daughter of God was originally in Spanish and was a starring vehicle for Cuban actress Ana de Armas, whom Reeves recommended for the role. The film also heavily featured Big Daddy Kane, Gabe Vargas and Orange Is the New Black’s Laura Gómez. Reeves’ part—that of a white police officer investigating his partner’s murder—was supposed to be a smaller, supporting role, originally intended for Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died in February 2014. Those who worked on the film described the role as the kind of part that bigger, A-list actors take in order to help a small, independent film like Daughter of God get funding.

But Reeves’ involvement apparently came at a price, and that price was the integrity of the film once Lionsgate got involved.

“Gee had his own money sources. I had access to some financing sources. Keanu asked if he could use some of his sources, and in turn that money fell through during preproduction,” Downie said. “That’s when Lionsgate was approached.”

Downie believes that during the process of getting Lionsgate to come to the table with funding, the studio was told one thing about the film—that it was a crime-thriller—when it was actually something else—a bilingual, multiracial drama—creating what Downie called a “hodgepodge” deal with Lionsgate.

A director’s cut by famed film editor Hervé de Luze was made and shown in France, where, Downie said, more than 80 percent of the audience rated the film positively, but when the studio saw this version, it balked.

Lionsgate would end up recutting the film to fit what it thought it had been sold: a Keanu Reeves crime-thriller.

Downie blames Reeves for not protecting the project that he purported to believe in, adding that it’s the duty of an A-lister to “use your star power to protect something that has that kind of power.”

“You have to have a producing backbone to stand up to that,” Downie said. “You’ll get run over by the machine if you don’t. I don’t know why he didn’t step up.”

I have seen both cuts of Daughter of God/Exposed—the Hervé de Luze cut and the studio’s version—and the differences are stark.

The studio cut of the film slices and dices away the lines and scenes featuring black and Latino characters, removing huge chunks of the Dominican family’s life in Washington Heights. Cut by more than 20 minutes, the once dreamy-but-haunting, female-centered drama is turned into a disjointed thriller with few thrills. Some characters’ parts are almost cut entirely, diminishing the effect of the final twist of the film and causing it to fall flat. And the impact of a subplot about police corruption and brutality is diluted to make more time for Reeves to brood, an attempt to pad out what was intended as a thin role.

In the trailer, the cuts are even more misleading. Only one of the Latina actresses is featured—star Ana de Armas—and she's reduced to a bit player. The Dominican family doesn't appear at all. The rest is scene after scene with Reeves, Mira Sorvino and other white members of the cast, with a few menacing cuts to Big Daddy Kane, presented as Reeves’ primary adversary, when his role is a bit different in the film. The surreal elements that mark the movie aren’t there; nor are many of the black and brown faces who make up the primary cast.

“The trailer that they’re using ... when I saw it, it was just shocking,” said Ellyn Long Marshall of Orpheus Casting, who was the casting director on Daughter of God and is friends with its director, Linton. “I couldn’t even imagine. It had nothing to do with the story, from what I saw, if that’s representative of the film. It’s just a different film.”

Several of those who worked on the project said that people of color need to own their own projects in order to ensure that whitewashing does not take place. Downie pointed to the success of TV shows like Power and Empire and how, despite their popularity, they have not affected the mentality of the film industry.

“As a black man myself, it’s just mind-blowing that you don’t take advantage of the sort of wealth [the black and brown audience has],” Downie said. “It’s almost like Lionsgate couldn’t see past having this A-list star in this secondary leading role.”

Marshall expressed similar sentiments. She said that when it comes to diversity and Hollywood, “nothing has changed.”

“It all comes down to white money. If it’s white money, it’s a white story,” she said. “It comes down to that option. It’s just shocking to see so blatantly, still.”




Article Focus:

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Comments

Anakin McFly
(2015-12-23 22:29:00)

ADMIN 
dammit, Hollywood, stop ruining people's work. It's making me reconsider my dream to make movies.

Regarding Keanu not stepping up in this case, I'm wondering if it's because he failed to make a difference in similar cases in the past - quite a few of his other movies (off the top of my head: Permanent Record, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Chain Reaction, The Watcher, 47 Ronin, and I think there were more) ended up with major changes to the script which he was often angry with because it wasn't the script he fell in love with and signed up for (in the case of The Watcher, he never even wanted to sign up for it); but in the end he was powerless against the studios in every single case. I'd be interested to see what he says in interviews for this film.

Keanu's also spoken often about his love for small independent dramas, and wanting to help first-time directors bring their stories to the screen. It sucks that studios keep getting in the way of that because they want more money. It probably doesn't work, either. The world is saturated enough as it is with generic action thrillers.

And as a fellow writer I'm angry and sad that Linton's movie - the first one he wrote and directed, at that, which must have been an arduous journey just to get to that point, and which seemed to be a story deeply personal to him - ended up stripped of its heart by the studios and mutated into something he disliked enough to take his name off.

MmeRenard
(2015-12-23 23:19:39)
 Wow, that's a clearer picture of the fiasco, and it's maddening. It's certainly true that Keanu lost some battles in Chain Reaction, The Watcher, 47 Ronin - I think The Replacements, too, and maybe others. He's also got other things going on with Lionsgate - JW2 and also Rain, I think - which doubtless make it more complicated. But the original rumor that it fell apart because Keanu wanted a bigger, starring role still grates - it's a long leap between him not getting the film he wanted and him actively seeking a big star role.
GuestI'm impressed (2015-12-23 23:23:00)
 Completely. The courage and intelligence WINM has recently displayed is lovely. Keep it up. It definitely demonstrates the fine line that separates fan from fanatic. I'm also grateful about the remarks made regarding misquotes.

Anakin, films aren't the only way to tell a good story: books work, and so do plays. Most of you can still make films. The best ones were often not from Hollywood.

Take care. Stay strong. Keep creating.

MmeRenard
(2015-12-23 23:58:29)
 AND to the comments in the referenced article above, last I checked, a "Producer" doesn't have a louder voice in the finished film than an "Executiev Producer."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4019560/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm

But Cassian Elwes? Hello? off to Twitter now...

Taluthahwhite washing with Keanu?!? (2015-12-24 00:10:23)
 sorry, this sounds pretty ridiculous, he is not white, just look at his eyes.
I'm of mixed origin myself (central Europe and north Africa) and so I can relate quite well to the minority status. I'm just disgusted by these events. What a pity - I looked forward to watch this movie, now I think the best way to deal with this would be a boycott.
Guestthink about it (2015-12-24 07:04:56)
 I'm surprised at the views. If you research, you will find that this was listed as a mystery thriller by several media groups as early as September, 2014, before or during filming. If Linton didn't want a thriller, why were press releases approved and not contested? I'm African American and dont't see this as an issue of race (but it seems some will make it so. It appears to be production money being gotten under false pretense. I don't like "sources say" quotes. It like hearing "they said". Who the heck are they or sources and where/how did they get their information. Sources close to the production could be the janitor. What is really means the principal wants to start trouble without being called out.
GuestIt is and it isn't about race (2015-12-24 07:26:16)
 The racial aspect is being pointed to because of the prevalence in the media and motion pictures of negative racial stereotypes. But I do question this imbroglio. There's an aspect of yet another publicity stunt gone south. Remember the home invasions, then these Facebook hoaxes...you get my drift. The views expressed aren't inappropriate at all. But the problem seems to be more about inattention on Keanu's part as to project involvement. Maybe it's time for him to take a nice long break from the Industry. As to the boycott, it's only effective if ALL Lionsgate offerings are boycotted. So no, it's not about race, it's about artistic integrity and social responsibility.
Guestin agreement (2015-12-24 08:09:36)
 with think about it. I think Reeves is being setup because of his star status and the impact on the industry. Why should he take a break, when if this is a Lionsgate issue, take it to the corporate suits. I smell a very foul rat in this whole thing. The article is incomplete and raises more questions about things such as the original script presented, etc. Something is very wrong here.
GuestYou have to remember (2015-12-24 10:19:17)
 This all came about as a result from a squib on Page Six of the NY Post. Not just Lionsgate. An unfortunate case of poor management. I hope someone comes forward with the truth. Ironic isn't it the film is called "Exposed."
Anakin McFly
(2015-12-24 10:41:52)

ADMIN 
I love all of you. <3

Man, that's a long list of producers.

I agree that this is and isn't about race. (FWIW, I'm ethnically Chinese, living in Singapore.) On one hand I think the same would have happened with a mostly-white, unknown cast in an indie drama that wasn't the action thriller Lionsgate thought they had, and is, as one of you pointed out, a matter of artistic integrity. On the other hand there's also Lionsgate's poor history with race issues in movies (LucaM previously mentioned Gods of Egypt), such that this ends up as another example within that greater context and that of Hollywood in general.

@Taluthah - yeah, Keanu isn't white, but in this instance his character is, and was previously meant to be played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. I also take whitewashing to be partly metaphorical in this case: stripping movies of their racial themes so that they become more familiar and supposedly more relatable to a mainstream, predominantly-white audience - which is also condescending to them.

It's not always a racial but sometimes a cultural thing, which is why we can also have movies with POC actors or even leads that are still referred to as 'white' - although that association of a certain culture/sensibility with whiteness (often with connotations of education, sophistication and class) makes me deeply uncomfortable and is something I dislike, because those things are and should be equally the domain of all races.


EDIT: Another article just released by Salon:
http://tinyurl.com/oleluh6

The author also wrote (and links to, in that article) a summary of Hollywood whitewashing, specifically noting Keanu's mixed racial history and how he should be one of the contenders for the Asian roles often given to fully-white actors:
http://tinyurl.com/h8op4sr

Keanu's a wild card that way.

Guestyou also have to remember (2015-12-24 18:07:03)
 that the Page Six squib claimed that Reeves supervised the re-edit, while the Root editor, by no means impartial, did not mention that in her article. Seems that when 'sources' have to ID themselves, the tune changes...

I'm sure the truth will surface; just give it time.

Lucy Mnemonic (2015-12-25 04:11:38)
 I don't really understand the facts--are Cassian and Lionsgate the same entity for this purpose? Yes, it would be interesting to see what he has to say on Twitter, if anything..was the original producer quoted in the article implying they were in a position to reject the Lionsgate money?

Weren't there supernatural elements in the original trailer? How does this fit into the ethnodiversity issue?

I hope the shortened, reedited film does not turn out to be a rehash of Street Kings. Which I liked, but we don't need another...the most interesting film should get made.

MmeRenard
(2015-12-25 20:58:56)
 Again, I'm not at all sure that one "Producer" carries more weight than 17!!! Executive Producers! That's an extraordinary number, isn't it? That says "studio meddling" to me.

And letting Keanu take the blame? assuming of course that it isn't his fault - and yeah, past relevant history? And Keanu? taking the blame? what?

I'm tiptoeing around the thought of boycotting when more facts become clear. At this point, they aren't clear at all.

And since Lionsgate is involved in both John Wick 2 and Rain, how does that play in? and they've got several projects with 87 Eleven, and I'd really like to see Chad and David be successful. Grrr.

and Merry Christmas/Hanukah/Happy Kwanzaa/Solstice holiday time to all!

Guest (2015-12-25 23:42:03)
 Lionsgate ain't got nothing do to with Rain. The Rain series are produced by Slingshot and will be broadcast by Cinemax/HBO. That's the last info out there.

Keanu has PR people who should be dealing with this. Since they obviously don't... maybe it's time for some changes in that department, too.

GuestBack to the kitchen (2015-12-26 05:52:19)
 I was on the fence about a boycott until this occurred to me: If I were in a restaurant, and there was a roach in my soup, I wouldn't hesitate to send it back, decline paying for the meal, and leaving the restaurant and never returning. With the movies, the only recourse we have to indicate dissatisfaction is to refuse the product in advance.

This whole situation has broken my heart. I'd rather not "punish" talented and hard-working people; but until the audience is clear about what is expected, we'll just keep getting roach soup.

We deserve better, no matter who is responsible. And the people working on these projects deserve better, too.

It's not so much a boycott to me as it is sending it back to the kitchen. Nothing much will change if we continue to pay for it. In fact, it will seem as if roach soup is what we want. A boycott is an unequivocal way of saying "No thanks" to the soft pornography, the violence, the cultural misrepresentations, the lazy PR, the hubris.

Back to the kitchen with all those maudlin Facebook posts and public make out sessions. Back to the kitchen with waiting for quality work from Keanuville. Back to the kitchen with anything unworthy of my time and money. Don't even try to sell because I'm not buying it.
Back to the kitchen.

Speaking of kitchens----Happy holidays everyone.

Guestoh dear. (2015-12-26 16:30:19)
 that's a lot of bitterness just because Reeves ain't playing saviors any more....
Guestall those maudlin Facebook posts (2015-12-26 16:49:20)
 fyi, there are fake Facebook pages for Sandra Bulock, Liam Neeson, Julia Roberts - just to name a few. Run by the same people as the fake KR ones; the fake posts are similar, sometimes even identical. You gonna send back to the kitchen their movies, too?

or is it just a personal feud with 'Keanuville'?

Anakin McFly
(2015-12-26 17:10:24)

ADMIN 
Wait, what? This thread isn't about the Facebook pages, and if I read it correctly, the 'maudlin Facebook posts' weren't referring to the celebrity pages either, but was speaking in general terms, and the commenter wanted to boycott not because of the Facebook pages but because of studios interfering with movies.

Yeah - I know about the whole network of celebrity fan pages. We weren't discussing that here though, so it's odd that you suddenly bring it up, as is how you thought that anyone would suggest boycotting an actor's movie because a fan who's unaffiliated with them has been impersonating them on the Internet; what purpose would that serve, and how would it stop the impersonators or even affect them in any way? I think there's been some misinterpretation somewhere.

Guestthe 'commenter' (2015-12-26 18:01:08)
 wants to boycott anything that comes out of 'Keanuville' because she feels hurt and bitter for falling for the fake Facebook posts; hurt by the 'public make out sessions' = the pap videos of KR with Jamie Clayton and the alleged public kiss with the female companion while in Japan promoting John Wick, by the 'soft pornography' of Knock Knock, by the violence of John Wick... you get the drift. Reeves is not a savior figure anymore. Amirite, 'back to the kitchen'?

She's right about the lazy PR. That needs to be dealt with. Fast. The hit press doesn't have holidays.

Guestand no, the 'commenter' (2015-12-26 18:16:28)
 isn't telling us to boycott this particular movie which the thread is about. She's telling us to boycott anything Reeves ('Keanuville') does until he goes back to doing 'quality work' = playing savior types.

The commenter has a right to her opinion and choice of action. I'll just VOD the movie twice to make up for her boycott.

GuestNot bitter (2015-12-26 19:06:47)
 Not at all. I mentioned the FB posts and the tabloids to exemplify the fact that when an artistic offering can stand on its on merit there is no need for anything else. No need to sell us his personal life. I actually think such nonsense is a disservice to him and gives his detractors reasons to discredit his work. I wasn't taken in by FB posts, they were patently egregious.

My issue is with the Industry, not Keanu personally. It's likely he is an intelligent, capable man who could do far more and better than he has the opportunity to do.
What bewilders me is why he hasn't availed himself of other acting opportunities, such as stagework and audio books. I apologize for not including him along with those who deserve better. If anyone does, he does. For over 30 years he's worked in the business. He deserves better. If the fans request it, do you think he decline? I'd like to think not.

My boycott is because it is incumbent on a merchant--in this case the film makers to provide to the buyer the best product. Failing to do so is the standard reason for a boycott. Boycotts serve as a wake-up call to the merchant to provide better products and services. It's not just Keanu's movies I boycott. In fact, I haven't seen a US feature in a cinema in 3 years. I seem to have better luck with foreign offerings.

As to the remarks about porn and violence, do we need more? And as to Keanu's work, does it hurt for him to skip it? I mean why can't he do more work along the lines of Thumbsucker, The Great Warming, Side by Side, Prince of Pennsylvania?

I also feel it odd that nobody wants to step in and resolve the Exposed situation. If there were editing mistakes, omissions, oversights, then just admit it. Failure to do so reflects poorly on everyone involved, especially Keanu since he's the star. The solution is simple: skip the theatrical release, go straight to DVD, with 2 discs. One the director's cut, the other for the suits.

Apologies to Anakin and WINM for the dustup.

Happy Boxing Day.

Guest (2015-12-26 19:18:34)
 'No need to sell us his personal life.'
HE wasn't selling us anything

' I mean why can't he do more work along the lines of Thumbsucker, The Great Warming, Side by Side, Prince of Pennsylvania? '
... savior good guy types. I rest my case.

MmeRenard
(2015-12-27 06:15:06)
 Comments don't appear to be working for the FB page article, that might be why there's some crap, I mean STUFF, here.

If it were me, I would want a publicist to address the apparent "Exposed / Daughter of God" fiasco. But it isn't me, and there may be many reasons to not do so, reasons to which we are not and need not be privy. I'm constantly amazed and a little freaked out that "fans" will say "he NEEDS to address this..."

No, he does not. You may WANT him to address it, but he owes that to neither you nor me nor any other fan. Get over it, grow up, get a more interesting hobby.

Sticking your lower lip out and pouting "he's not exactly the way I WANT him to be!" is frankly juvenile. I really hate (yes) Knock Knock, but my reaction is just that I don't like it and don't care to see more in that same vein - but it's entirely up to him - I may see something or not, and that's my choice.

I remember when there was a rumor going around that "Exposed" - then "Daughter of God" - was going to be changed because the title supposedly freaked some fundamentalists out. That appears to have been bullshit as well. So...unless I hear credibly that Keanu worked actively to get it changed to a Big Movie Star picture for him, and willfully minimized any African-American and Latino parts of the story, yes, I'll see the movie. I need facts, not rumors from Page Six or a disgruntled producer.

Guest (2015-12-27 06:27:26)
 This isn't a rumor, it's posted by someone who worked on the movie:

Meye AudemusEnterprises
December 3 ·
I wanna thank every body in my wave. I work hard and go through Sleepless nights and turbulent days for this. My movie is coming out. The original name "Daughter of God" was changed to "Exposed" due to religious potential controversy. It's starring Keanu Reeves and the beautiful Ana del Armas. I got 10 song placements in this movie. So excited for next year. #godislove #TheGreatMeye #AudemusEnterprises #TheEmeraldTablets


Same reason for changing the name is mentioned by one of the actors here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57na9Q-f190&feature=youtu.be

MmeRenard
(2015-12-27 07:15:58)
 Uh huh.

Who is "Meye Audemus Enterprises" and how would they know the reason for the change?
I'm familiar with that quote, but am not at all sure of its relevance or accuracy. That's a rumor.

So is the "problem" with the film:
1) the proposed original title sparked religious "controversy"?
2) Keanu wanted a bigger / movie star role?
3) the studio, after reading the script and buying it, decided that it was "too ethnic"?
4) all of the above?
5) some of the above?
6) none of the above?

This stinks to me.

Anakin McFly
(2015-12-27 10:28:30)

ADMIN 
I think it's pretty straightfoward:

- Unnamed producer pitched and sold an action thriller to Lionsgate, either because they were unable to or perceived themselves unable to sell them the actual film

- Lionsgate "liked it", according to the source, but still wanted to get what they ordered, and thus asked that the film be edited until it resembled that

Keanu and the director don't seem to be part of that picture.

So there are two main culprits:

1) That unnamed producer who wasn't honest with the studio, although they might have been working under pressure to get this film greenlighted; maybe their job was on the line, or maybe they'd been honest with other studios and been repeatedly turned down as a result

2) Lionsgate (and Hollywood in general) for giving a strong enough impression of what kinds of film pitches would succeed or fail to the point that people need to lie just to get their movies sold, and for still insisting on the original deal rather than take a chance on an unconventional film that they admitted they liked.

GuestI'm still confused (2015-12-27 14:23:55)
 The article above said Phillip Seymour Hoffman was cast originally, so was it not greenlit then?

And is there a really a controversy, or something to generate interest?

As to hearing from Keanu or his people, I think it would be helpful, for clarity's sake. The director, too. It would be cool to see what they'd been aiming for.

GuestWho is "Meye Audemus Enterprises" (2015-12-27 17:53:16)
 This :
https://www.facebook.com/100000036453125/videos/vb.100000036453125/1088319534512585/?type=2&theater

and this
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=816741895115805&set=vb.317914654998534&type=2&theater


I've also linked a video in my above comment. Surprised you didn't ask " who's Big Daddy Kane and how would he know the reason for the change?"

LucaM
the fact is that, from the very beginning, (2015-12-27 20:03:27)
 Daughter of God was NOT presented as a 'quiet, surreal story'. The very first press releases from September 2014 - waaaaay before Lionsgate (Grindstone) was connected to the project - describe it as a 'dramatic thriller' (THR), a 'mystery thriller' (Variety), a 'dramatic cop thriller' (Deadline). In October 2014 it's described as 'a crime thriller' by The Tracking Board. In November 2014, 'detective thriller' (Screendaily.com).

So the 'thriller' element was always there. In all the press releases, which the producers and the director/producer must have been aware of. So whoever sold it to Lionsgate - in February 2015, when Lionsgate first appears mentioned in the press in connection to the project- just followed the memo...
Now whether it was Lionsgate who one-sidedly decided to take the 'dramatic' out of the 'dramatic thriller' or Linton who one-sidedly decided to take the 'thriller' out of the 'dramatic thriller'... that's not clear yet.

Taluthahboycott (2015-12-27 20:03:54)
 well, it was me who brought up the idea to boycott "Exposed" - due to the whitewashing. I did not imply at all to boycott any future movies of Keanu Reeves. And I'm still decided not to watch it and giving anyone extra revenue by buying a cinema ticket or a DVD. I might watch it on free TV later on.
I accept movie editing as an essential part of the art of movie making - but not as a means to spread racism.
Anakin McFly
(2015-12-27 21:11:45)

ADMIN 
@Taluthah - I think the anon poster was referring to the other anon who mentioned Facebook posts etc.

And a mistake on my part - the issue wasn't with getting it greenlit but in getting funding. Based on LucaM's sources it looks like it was billed as a thriller from the start; who knows how true that was to the script, or if from the beginning they'd felt the need to present it as such for marketing purposes.

Regardless of the specifics of this case, there's still a problem with Hollywood preferring to stick to tried-and-tested money-making movies (and never-ending sequels) rather than take risks on different things. While I'm not a fan of difference for its own sake and I admittedly don't watch many indie films, I still think there's a lot more room for experiment, and it's not as though Hollywood can't afford to risk losses now and then. It seems like there was a wider variety in the past - just look at the mixed bag of Keanu's 1980s films vs those of the past decade, even including his non-blockbuster work.

MmeRenard
(2015-12-28 01:37:54)
 Thank you, LucaM and Anakin. I do think that in previous years, there was more variety in Hollywood - before, as you say, the last decade or even two. Is that because independent films were really independent, without the studios playing much of a role? When I compare the bland, repetitive crap coming out of Hollywood, starting with endless and absurd remakes (Point Break? seriously?) to the really interesting stuff that's happening on TV, even network TV in some cases , Hollywood had best get its act together. When you see the Wachowskis and Keanu doing episodic TV, you'd think that Hollywood would pay attention.

I'm also still bothered by the fact that, despite a lack of real information about what's happened with this film - information which may or may not EVER be available - some anonymous sources are blaming Keanu. Given what we DO know about production and the historical record of Keanu's influence or lack thereof on films, the smirching seems very odd and rather pointed. almost like someone's got an axe (maybe an imaginary axe) to grind.

Yes, I'll watch it anyway, since the facts are not clear in the least.

Guestlike someone's got an axe to grind. (2015-12-28 02:48:48)
 That was obvious from the Page Six article. A typical paid hit piece.

And then there's this
https://twitter.com/gml12

Guest (2015-12-29 05:01:35)
 Thanks everyone. Like LucaM I was under the impression of the mystery/thriller storyline.

I'm not going to see it,because I'd have to wrestle with my conscience if I did.

Here in the US, it launches in less than a month. Maybe something valuable will come from the press junket.

Good thread.

Guestsome thoughts to ponder.... (2015-12-30 01:04:57)
 Just a few thoughts......
In hollyweird - timing is everything. Placement is fought over and re-evaluated and calculated. The fact that "exposed" was placed in January says everything. In the middle of the dead zone when most of the industry is busy with awards season means that most of the industry may miss it or ignore it. It says that the studio has little to no confidence in it. There are exceptions to this time, but very few.
Also you have to remember that of studios, lionsgate is doing well - better than most financially and therefore would be most in the position to support indie(which it frequently does) so to make decsions about a re-edit means that something didn't go well (ie test screening). They may have tried to refocus on thriller so as it didn't just "disappear" as many dramas do when released in January.
As to the whole race thing, I for one think this is an american phenomenon. I watch many films that feature different races and cultures and quite enjoy them - even with subtitles. The problem becomes a money one in the states, and it it not just the studios. Selling a film for distribution also relies on the theatre owners and until they see the light of day and want more, unfortunately we will be limited to more "white bread" productions. Case in point - right now in any movie theatre in north america there will be multiple screenings of Star Wars, but only mild to nothing for all the "awards considered screenings". That includes interrnational considerations which are also very hard to find.
Guest (2015-12-30 01:09:30)
 As to exposed and how it has been re-edited, we may never know the real story. But one thing will be the real tell - is how much Mr. Reeves says or promotes through the press junket for exposed. If that promotion is limited or non-existant, then you will know the answer. Nobody was happy with the result. Lionsgate will then try to recoup losses.
Mr. Reeves is human and it gets very hard to fight hollyweird on their level, and I am sure he has had enough of that. One thing you learn with age is which battles to fight and can be won, and which ones not. We shall see.
MmeRenard
(2016-01-22 23:08:41)
 I've seen it and all this noise is just so much bullshit. Just saying.
Guestjust watched the movie (2016-01-23 04:20:55)
 and that article is bs, written only to create controversy. The movie is focused entirely on de Armas' character and both her family and her husband's Dominican family. Oh, and the movie is rather mediocre. Only thing which saves it is the twist at the end.
MmeRenard
(2016-01-25 02:09:07)
 It really needs to be underlined and spread widely - yeah, we can do this - that the allegations of "racism" are bullshit and have zero to do with this film. there is NO racism. Some producer (and not, I'm quite sure, Keanu) made some lousy editing decisions that gutted the story and its (potential) coherence. That person is trying desperately to lay blame on Keanu, and I doubt that will go well for them.

Man, spreading rumors about Keanu and then calling for a boycott because of those rumors? Wow. That's amazing.

New note: there is some SERIOUS hating going on around this, and nothing that has to do with "whitewashing" - somebody is desperate to sink this film and Keanu.

MmeRenard
(2016-01-25 08:30:28)
 This is turning into the worst hatchet job in Hollywood that I've ever seen. Unbelievable.
Guest (2016-01-25 09:52:02)
 If you reread the article, the whitewashing is aimed at Hollywood in general. The film is an example. It could have been any film, but thanks to the genius who planted the story on Page Six, it was sitting there, and plucked up in the ongoing saga of cultural relations in Hollywood.

I doubt anyone would think Keanu is a racist. Also, the article points to elements removed to make the film more commercial.

The boycott remarks were about film quality in general. Even you mentioned you were "tip toeing" around the idea yourself.

This will just have to go down as poor timing, marketing and PR.

Anakin McFly
(2016-01-25 09:55:35)

ADMIN 
I'm reserving judgement on this until we know more; we haven't even heard Keanu's side of things. The film itself wouldn't be racist either way - it was the editing process and decisions of what to cut that were accused of being influenced by racism, and of trying to make the film more suitable to a mainstream audience. The only people who know what happened there would be those who worked on the film, so we won't be able to tell until we get more information.

Getting a film made is an extremely complicated process and tied up with red tape; it's really the people providing the money who have the most control and say over what happens, more than the directors or producers or actors who often end up powerless.

Guest (2016-01-30 02:34:03)
 https://iamhapablog.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/keanu-reeves-and-the-white-washing-of-hollywood/
Anakin McFly
(2016-01-30 12:05:04)

ADMIN 
Thanks! Added to archive.

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