Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children: Tim Burton Comments About Film’s Lacking Diversity

The wait is over: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children is officially in theaters. The film, which is based on a bestselling novel by Ransom Riggs, riled up young adult readers when it was announced. However, that anticipation turned to anger when fans learned the film would be comprised of mostly white actors. And, now, director Tim Burton is commenting on the film's lacking diversity.

Speaking with Bustle, Burton acknowledged that "people are talking about it more," referencing the film's controversial casting. However, he said that "things either call for things, or they don't." And, in this case, the director felt his film didn't call for an overtly diverse cast.

He went on to explain his personal reasoning behind the film's cast. "I remember back when I was a child watching The Brady Bunch and they started to get all politically correct. Like, OK, let's have an Asian child and a black. I used to get more offended by that," Burton explained. "I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, that's great. I didn't go like, OK, there should be more white people in these movies."

Unsurprisingly, the Internet has no reacted well to the director's words. Netizens have flooded social media with complains about Burton's decision. Many have painstakingly detailed the history of blaxploitation movies, reminding other that the genre only thrived in the 1970s because there was no representation for black culture elsewhere. Of course, other online users are simply saddened by the news and question why Hollywood continues to overlook diverse casts.

And, what's more, the Internet was quick to point out a damaging element of Miss Peregrine's casting. The one nonwhite lead in the film was its villain Barron (Samuel L Jackson). Many are complaining that Miss Peregrine propagate tropes about 'nefarious people of color.' However, the actor has said the film's lacking diversity didn't keep him from taking the role.

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Movie Preview
(Photo: Fox)

Jackson said he questioned the casting, explaining "I may have been the first [nonwhite lead], I don't know."

"It happens the way it happens. I don't think it's any fault of his or his method of storytelling, it's just how it's played out. Tim's a really great guy."

With over 30 movies under his belt, Burton has had his films criticized over diversity before. The director's works have featured nonwhite actors before like Billy Dee Williams and Michael Clarke Duncan, but their roles were considered supporting.

Despite the controversy, Miss Peregrine's has gone to to top the weekend's box office. The film raked in $28.5 million, a gross that outdid previous predictions. However, the haul pales in comparison to its budget of $110 million, so overseas audiences will ultimately decide whether the film is a flop or success.

ComicBook.com's Dallas Jackson wasn't a big fan of the film, but it currently has a certified "Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes (64%).


[H/T] Bustle