As the “Harriet Tubman” movie being released, there were many controversies. One of the film studios says that they should get Julia Roberts to play the role. Gregory Allan Howard, the screenwriter says that studio people were of the opinion to have Roberts.
Allan mentions “I was told how one studio head said in a meeting, ‘This script is fantastic. Let’s get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman.’” But there was a black man in the meeting who pointed out how the character was an African American.
Julia was pretty famous by hits like “Pretty Woman,” Steel Magnolias” and “The Pelican Brief.” She was “considered as America’s Sweetheart ” So they were interested in starring her in the movie.
But there were who were people not of that opinion too. They even pointed out that Harriet Tubman was an African American, a black lady and Roberts was white. Due to this, the effect and the contrast would not be the same also. But exec says by pointing out, “It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.”
Even black British actress Cynthia Erivo was heavily criticized as she was not an African American and the real character was an African American.
The screenwriter Allan recalls the struggles he had to face over 25 years ago to complete this movie. In one of the Los Angeles Times essay, Allan says, “when I got in the business, I wanted to tell these historical stories by turning them into entertainment.” He goes on to say, “I didn’t want to give history lessons. I wanted to turn Harriet Tubman’s life, which I’d studied in college, into an action-adventure movie.” But he also mentioned how, “The climate in Hollywood, however, was very different back then.”
Even though it was all a struggle, Allan however succeeded in it.