Despite constant push-back and out cry, Hollywood’s long history of white washing and racism persists. Unfortunately, Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio might be the next white actor to portray a person of color on screen. Screenwriter David Franzoni who wrote the Oscar winning film,Gladiator just wrote a new film about the Persian poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi. He told The Guardian that he wants to “challenge the stereotypical portrayal of Muslim characters in western cinema by giving a face and a story to the Sufi scholar whose epic poetry has been translated into many languages and remains hugely popular in the United States.” Rumi will focus primarily on Rumi’s teachings and meeting with Shams, who inspired Rumi’s love of love poetry. It will also reflect on Rumi’s daughter Kimya, many believe married Shams.
This all sounds great except for the fact that Franzoni and producerStephen Joel Brown are looking to court DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr.for the parts of Rumi and Iranian mystic Shams of Tabriz respectively. 
Though filming for Rumi isn’t even slated to begin until next year, Franzoni’s potential casting choices have been met with swift and immediate backlash on social media. On Twitter the hashtag #RumiWasntWhite is being used to express peoples disdain for this potential white washing.
There is no release date as of yet for the film, and Leonardo DiCaprio has not commented on the casting rumors. Let’s just hope he never has to. After all, as Viola Davis said, people of color must be given the opportunities that they deserve



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