Controversy Looms as Mythical Achilles is Played by Black Actor in New BBC Epic

Social media users have expressed their anger at a new series produced by the BBC and Netflix in which Greek mythological figures such as Achilles, Patroclus and Zeus are being played by black actors.

In the Troy: Fall of a City, an eight-part series that chronicles the Greek siege of the city of Troy, Achilles is played by Interstellar, Cloud Atlas and Man in an Orange Shirt star David Gyasi.

The same character was played in the 2004 film Troy by Brad Pitt.

Here are some of the responses by social media users:

  • Homer in the Iliad repeatedly describes Achilles as “blonde” and “golden”-haired
  • Africans had nothing to do with Greek mythology or ancient European history. Who in their right mind could see and enjoy this new TV series?
  • This is blatant racism towards Greek people, and I am shocked by the audacity of the BBC to try and rewrite Greek history.
  • Question, would anyone be mad if I made movie about US history, and actor playing Obama would be white?

Some other have also threatened to cancel their membership on Netflix.

The Troy drama will be screened first on BBC One, early 2018.

The series has an impressive cast with Shameless’ David Threlfall, Chloe Pirrie, from War And Peace, and Frances O’Connor, from Mr Selfridge, heading the bill, along with two newcomers, Australian Louis Hunter and Bella Dayne, from the science fiction TV series Humans.

The show is written by David Farr.


  1. And black minds are fruitcakes that can’t take the fact that their heritage doesn’t even begin to compare to the greek, let alone the european one, so they steal it. That whole “we wus kangs”, egyptians were black (nop, middle-eastern, turk-ish, and european according to DNA:
    Now even greeks were black –funny, greeks themselves don’t agree, and certainly don’t look like it; and one day it will be “vikings were black”. Get a clue, stop stealing other people’s legacy, and build your own instead, if you can.

    Oh look, white greeks, what sorcery is this?
    maybe is just, I don’t know, the materials and technics and arform they had? “intelligent people” you say… lol

  2. I guess when they do it to white people, isn’t “cultural appropriation” anymore, then is “it’s just a movie, get over it”.
    Right, that’s not a double standard AT ALL…

  3. You’re missing a lot of important details.
    *No one in second millennium BCE Greece or “Troy” looked remotely like Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom
    *Golden-haired does not really mean yellow-haired.
    *Not only the Greek Achilles, but also the Trojan Aeneas is played by a black actor. What do they have in common? Both half-divine sons of a goddess. So this production suggests that being black is a mark of being semi-divine. Don’t like that? Well, you tell me what the ancient Greek gods *really* looked like, and what their children looked like.

  4. Well… I’m ALL FOR equality in parts for movies… but they’ve got a point here… WE as the Black Community can’t be mad when a movie about GREEKS comes out and there are NO black actors. The producers of this choose the WRONG movie to try to be “proactive” with. Just my 2cents

  5. Please look for his work Daniel, “When Rocks Cry Out” by Horace Butler. Everything is sourced in the footnotes.

  6. I’m actually good with this non-historical historical fiction. It offers a variety on an old story. What are they doing that is new?
    The movie critic in me asks if this is merely the “Sir” effect in action, making black heroes who uphold white power? Still the BBC is unable to produce literature and art from below. Still in this decade we go back to the genres of 1960. The hero must brutalize others in the quest for fame, fortune and exploitation.

  7. Hmm…was Yul Bryner Siamese? And how many Native Americans were cast in early Spaghetti Westerns?

  8. Did you hear the other one about the Earth being flat??????Muhhahaha, hilarious that all these nonsense theories spring up at the same period, some are really trying to overturn established reality….In the next episode: Blacks are not really Blacks, they are….rainbows

  9. Isn’t this nice….Not sure what is weirder, Blacks getting equality finally use it to undermine the Whites civilisation showing their own inner racism….Or the anti-hellenic policy pushed by certain centres , same as with Macedonia….Hmmm, maybe all comes from the Asians

  10. Jesus was play by a white man, and white people have no history in the middle east until the Romans came along and change history……..

  11. Laurance Olivier played Othello african prince then why cant black actor play white character..?

  12. Insanity, hahahahahahah, if BBC made a movie about Slavic people, Svatopluk would be black as tar :DDD

  13. We must stand up to this ridiculous claims from these Hollywood producers trying to change history , this is wrong information on the history of Troy! Lets create a petition and make a claim against the producers of this show and Netflix for allowing this! All these people in the interviews are two-face hypocrites and even they said it is not OK for a white male to play Obama?! Netflix and to the producers of this show – you are pathetic and a disgrace to production of films and history! Lets create a petition on this get this viral on the true facts of Troy and its History.

  14. Whoa, what’s well documented? Because I can speak of plenty of “so-called” truths that are in fact lies. Do you not know that a great number of the Greek philosophers studied in Kemet,and much of the “Greek” God’s and folk of legend are attributed to deities that were learned of by those same philosophers via Egyptian teachers? Take Medusa. She was an “African” story, not that of the greeks. And how long have white people portrayed roles that we not even question to its true origin or lack of authenticity within thereof? The Egyptian obelisk that is prevalent in many phases of Greek culture did not come from the “Greeks” themselves. That’s why for “every” Greek god there is an Aetheopian equivalent. I’ve read comments stating that Homer described his hair to be blonde,and ? This does not disqualify a man of African descent. Actually quite the contrary as various warriors of that land dawned various colors of hair and so too did the stylings differ. The problem society has is that a people that’s been beaten down so terribly in most minds are actually a very important people and most minds cannot grasp this. A people so important the Creator called them his own. A people so important that other cultures took on their identity as soon as they were to believed to have fallen. So look at the world through a wider lens and understand you are talking to people that have endured a false looking Messiah, a false looking Cleopatra, a false looking Moses, false looking Pharaohs, kings, and the list goes on and on. And as soon as something different from the norm pops up, you guys freak out. Actually, those of us that know what’s really going on find this way of acting quite funny and biblically accurate. Have a great day my friend.

  15. Hey man i see it that way that people that born(created black r white) they do not change to be something else even if the mixed coze dna,chromosomes you got same result.Its not some evolution going on.I respect all people (as long they do no harm) and is the same to me if you born white or black or yellow.My point is that everyone knows how greek look like and in many historical books tell us so is inappropriate to picture achiles like that in the name of art. With those things dont mess around.So what is wrong when greek philsopher go to egypt for a chat with fellow philosofers,todays scientists,fysisicts,and list gos on they like to talk to same kind of people from around the globe.Well as about greek gods romans had with a different names,egypt,persia,babylon and all ancient kindoms had their own gods.

  16. Do you know also what tell us that greeks didnt look like blacks or like that guy in the movie?Skeleton bones that have found and are plenty of those in greece.Facial structure and bones are different.Anthropologist say greeks were protoeuropians.Also language are very different maybe one of the oldest .The Ancient Greeks were the first Europeans to read and write with an Alphabet, which eventually led to all modern European languages. Also art tell us alot about how greeks look like: Do you see a flat nose, big lips,high cheeks,round face as africans have? I do not see those thinks ! am i blind? ITS nothing in common man: AFTER ALL WE ARE ALL BLACKS ………………….IN A SOUL

  17. We all know that achilles is not real but you don’t have to make it black. Although he is a fictional character but in the greek mythology actually depicted achilles as a fair blonde blue eyes and muscular god where at the time they made those characteristics because gods are perfect and that characteristic is nowhere near a human being.

  18. Obviously that is racism. To place a black actor without makeup to play one of the greatest mythic figures of western civilization is a pure racist move. A move that could only please part of the US auditory, and spread hate between black and white people around. This is against black minorities. Also Homer describes Achilles as blonde haired in Iliad. What will happen if a white, blonde actor plays Martin Luther King, as a light blonde activist? That will make black people to hate the white colored. This is the best way to separate and to promote racism. And I doubt the managers in Netflix and BBC are so stupid and do not see that.

  19. Try the same with some black personality… Where are the sjw greeks to claim “Cultural Apropiation” or racism

  20. Black Beautiful Men Gods! Don’t get mad color of pearls it’s just AWESOME when reacted by mahogany skin you can have your Greek myths or is it? Because the future holds very bright for those who traveled a worn trail for centuries. Deep down it’s brewing in you hidden truths causing you to feel some kinda way. FEEL IT, DEAL WITH IT! Because it tis’ what it tis’. Salt of the earth

  21. News just in. The KKK have received funding for a movie about Malcolm X, to be played by Jude Law. His wife will be played by Lucy Liu.

  22. I notice people commenting that Achilles was described by Homer as being blonde, or at least fair, haired but no-one seems concerned that he was also described as being taller than Ajax who was at least 10 feet tall. Maybe we should complain to the BBC about being hightist as well as racist. . . ?

  23. I can’t believe some of the comments, OMG! 1. Jesus was played by a white man, Abraham was play by a white man, Elizabeth Taylor play African Egyptian Queen so don’t even start this shit! A black man can’t play Achilles, number one you guys wasn’t even back in those days! on how you know that Achilles wasn’t really black fictional character


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