Let's just be clear up front:
We do not think Tim Burton is a racist. Not in the least.
But the director is under pretty major fire at the moment for some remarks made about his latest movie.
Speaking on Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to Bustle, Burton made the following remark in regard to diversity in his movies.
Or lackthereof, really, considering there are practically only white people in this latest flick.
"Nowadays, people are talking about it more," Burton said, elaborating:
"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, OK, 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."
What Burton seems to be saying here is that he's against quotas.
He's saying one should not hire a minority simply to hire a minority.
And he's come under attack for this point of view; and/or the way he expressed it.
Samuel L. Jackson, the only nonwhite cast member in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, was made aware of Burton's comments and rushed to the director's defense.
"I had to go back in my head and go, how many black characters have been in Tim Burton movies?" Jackson said.
"And I may have been the first, I don’t know, or the most prominent in that particular way, but 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."
Unsurprisingly, however, Twitters users were less forgiving.
“He's just one of the many directors who think that for a world to be magical and fantastical it must be white,” one user wrote of Burton, whose name began trending on Twitter.
"Its fascinating that Tim Burton has a huge imagination in the rendering of his films, but a Asian kid in Miss Peregrine is a stretch for him."
This person, meanwhile, made a salient and also humorous point:
And this person did the same:
Do you find Burton's remark offense? What about his history of casting the same people in his movies?
Or is this much ado about not very much at all?
When you consider the following race-related scandals, the fact that this is getting any attention at all feels sort of silly, doesn't it?