The final film in Poe’s Opens, an epic, sprawling and sometimes controversial epic, opened in theaters this weekend and, to some, was one of the most important films of the year.
But the film has also drawn criticism for its treatment of black characters.
Some of those actors have spoken out about the controversy, and the film’s director has been forced to defend himself in a number of posts.
“Poe’s Opuses, a film which is full of racism, sexual violence, and misogyny, does not address the complexities of race in a nuanced and thoughtful way,” wrote director Alex Garland in an open letter to critics.
“The film makes no attempt to understand how race and sexuality intersect, and instead trivializes and dismisses the lives of black women in America.”
The film’s release drew criticism from the NAACP, which is calling for Garland to resign, calling the film “disgraceful.”
And many Twitter users also questioned why Garland didn’t go further and discuss the film with the actors who play the characters, and whether he could have used their input to better represent the Black women in the film.
“A Black woman is never a part of this film,” wrote one user.
“You can’t call a Black woman a ‘person.’
The people that portray Black women are not Black.
If you can’t get it out of your head that the Black woman doesn’t exist in this film, then you need to work harder,” another user wrote.
Garland’s post has since been deleted, but he told Entertainment Weekly that he felt “disgusted” that people weren’t speaking up against the film, saying “I have never been a big fan of this movie.
I love it and have watched it hundreds of times.
I was surprised to see people were offended by the film.”
Garland also noted that he doesn’t regret writing his post.
“I did my job, I did my homework, and I made my own choices,” he said.
“In retrospect, I think I could have made my points better, maybe I would have made some suggestions that might have gotten more traction.”
The filmmaker has since tweeted that he is “disappointed” in the backlash and has “apologized to the actors.”
“I am very sorry to anyone that has been offended by my words and I hope to do better in the future,” he wrote.
“Thanks for your support.
While it seems as though Garland might be forgiven for the post, many people have expressed outrage over the way he handled the controversy.
“There are people out there that are calling me a white supremacist and a misogynist and calling me out for not speaking up about the racism of the film,” actor and actress Lupita Nyong’o told the Washington Post.
“It’s disgusting and offensive.
It’s disgusting to me that I’m being treated like that, because I’m Black.”
The backlash to the film continues to grow.
“This is the second time that the NAACP has come after me,” Nyong ‘o said.