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.


162 COMMENTS

  1. I just love the way the racist label is flung at anyone who would dare speak out against blacks doing anything. You need to get out more. Blacks are as racist as any other group. And to those who say it doesn’t matter if Achilles is black I’d like to see the reaction if say Mel Gibson is cast as Dr King some day

  2. And to the comment about Brad Pitt. How obtuse. Pitt wasn’t cast because he was white. He was cast because by any standard he like Achillies is a classically beautiful face. Please show us any ancient statue or bust Greek or Roman depicting a hero of god like visage that has facial characteristics anything like Gyasi and you might have an argument. Good luck with that!

  3. I understand the Greeks reacting to BBC because i would feel the same if our National/historical heroes will be protrayed by either black or white people lol.

  4. Just a little too regressive left for me. I’m just going to have to give this movie a thumbs down. The Greek myths are Greek myths, giving the most powerful entities in these tails to the Africans is a strange form of sycophantic behavior.

  5. There a lot of comments on here about white men playing Jesus, and Egyptians, and no one saying anything. Well, I have for decades. We can call it artistic license, but poor casting is poor casting, and most of these cases it’s racist. Remember when Kings fu was played by David Carradine (because God forbid that we let a Chinese man play the role of a… Chinese man -gasp)?
    I have a problem with this whole cast… why do they all have British accents? Is it asking too much that they try to have a Greek accent?
    But in truth, the acting in this series, along with the direction is quite good, so I don’t care that they chose to cast a black Achilles.
    The biggest problem that I have with the series, is the same that I have with several netflix historical series’… the damned sex scenes. Look, I’m not a prude, but when you make a series that could educate an entire generation about history (even if in this case it is mostly mythical), would it be asking too much to have the decorum to film it in such a way that one needn’t feet allowing his young children to watch it?
    Seriously?!?! Can’t we figure out with Oaris and Helen did in their bedroom without having him jump up and down on her?
    This coming from a director who has Achilles chip off Hector’s fingers, yet the stumps left on his hand manage to defy medical explainarion and … don’t bleed. Thanks from rewriting nature to save us from the gore, could you do the same with the coitus?

  6. Well how many times we had to see the Hebrews, and Samson or Moses or the Egyptians on TV as being white! If you a student of the Bible it clearly shows that they were black! I know it’s hard to accept but a blind man can see they were black but on TV they are white! I’m offended

  7. They could have used a black guy to play Odysseus… the man who uses his brain. Instead they cast the black guy as the mindless murder machine. I think that is what offends people most. Achilles and Zeus are symbols of power, of Greek martial might. I can see why the BBC did what they did, and clearly it was done for completely political reasons, because as I watch the show so far… this guy playing Achilles sucks at it.

    If they really wanted to make a statement in casting… then they should have cast a black woman with natural hair as Helen of Troy… the face that launched 1000 ships… the most beautiful woman in the world. Of course, they instead want to castings that put black men in positions where they are very good at killing people… and are not very smart.

  8. First off, people need to understand WHAT the definition of a racist is. The term was coined by Lev Davodavitch Bronstein, aka Leon Trotsky, who attacked the Slavic peoples because of their love for their own culture and traditions. He was, of course, trying to foist his globalist agenda upon them with communism, but they weren’t having anything to do with it. Now the definition has grown arms and legs, fusing prejudice and supremacy in, completely destroying the definition in order to promote an insidious agenda. Dislike of another, regardless whether they’re black, white, fat, slim, rich, poor, smelly, have red hair, bad breath, etc is prejudice. It is NOT racism.

  9. I was annoyed that Athena didn’t have grey eyes – how hard is it to put in some grey contact lenses????? For those of us who have read The Illiad and like to see some semblance of authenticity, these little details should really have been considered.

  10. this is funny white people made Jesus white and jesus is black, the cry about a black man playing Achilles

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