American Filmmaker Tim Burton Gets Called Out for Being Racist

American Filmmaker Tim Burton Gets Called Out for Being Racist

Photo Credit: (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images) (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Tim Burton has a very ”specific” aesthetic–his films are dark and offbeat.

They are also very white.

Tim Burton is one of the most imaginative filmmakers of our time, a man who’s envisioned some of the most absurd, gothic, and fantastical worlds. But his imagination is limited when it comes to race.

If you take one look at the filmmaker’s films it will show you that all of his movies are about white characters with barely a hint of racial diversity. Throughout the 80s, 90’s and early 2000’s that was far from a hot topic of controversy, but in recent years the film industry and culture as a whole have grown more aware of the problematic blinding whiteness of the movies. Burton’s latest film, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Childrenfeatures an all white cast with the exception of Samuel Jackson, who is the first prominent character of color in a Burton movie.

While Burton was promoting his new movie, the filmmaker was asked about lacking racial diversity in his work. Burton gave a response that avoided a straight answer, but seemed to suggest that his movie didn’t call for casting non-white actors. Then he said something pretty problematic and ignorant. This was his response:

”Things either call for things, or they don’t. I remember back when I was a child watching The Brady Bunch and they started to get all politically correct, like, Okay, let’s have an Asian child and a black — I used to get more offended by that than just — 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.”

The better answer would’ve been for Burton to just be honest, because that’s all anyone wants to hear. It’s okay for filmmakers to admit to blind spots or a lack of awareness. He should just admit that yeah, his movies are pretty white, and yeah, if he wants that to change that then say he’ll make an effort to improve. It’s safe to say Burton’s career for the past decade has been suffering quite a bit so changing up his usual routine and perspective certainly couldn’t hurt.