Regé-Jean Page says report he was passed over for a film role because of his race “hurts”
Regé-Jean Page might just be one of the most popular people in Hollywood right now. His breakout role in Netflix’s Bridgerton propelled him to serious fame, and made him the favorite actor of just about every thirsty woman on the planet. But new reports say that before his Bridgerton fame, he auditioned for a film role and was turned away because of his race.
The LA Times reports that DC Entertainment passed on casting Page in the Syfy channel series Krypton after he auditioned to play the series’ lead, who is Superman’s grandfather. But the horrible thing about this report is that it alleges executives turned down Page for the role because the character “couldn’t be” Black.
Superhero franchises like Marvel and DC have been criticized for their lack of diversity and are reportedly working to add more diverse characters to their ranks. But this story shows how much work they still have left to do. In this case, DC creative officer Geoffrey Johns is standing by his decision. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, he said he “believed fans expected the character to look like a young Henry Cavill,” who is white and who plays Superman in other DC content.
The starring role in Krypton, which ran for two seasons in 2018 and 2019, eventually went to Cameron Cuffe, a white actor.
Page hasn’t publicly commented about the casting controversy, and his reps didn’t respond to the LA Times‘ request for comment, but on Wednesday, he posted a tweet that appears to reference it.
“Hearing about these conversations hurts no less now than it did back then. The clarifications almost hurt more tbh,” Page wrote. “Still just doing my thing. Still we do the work. We still fly.”
In addition to being accused of racial discrimination in his casting, Johns has been accused of other mistreatment of actors and colleagues in a new profile in The Hollywood Reporter. It’s another blow to DC, which is already facing allegations that Joss Whedon, who directed multiple DC films, abused and mistreated actors on various projects throughout his career. Multiple women have come forward with claims that Whedon abused his power and created toxic environments for them on sets. Ray Fisher, another Black actor in the DC universe, has also spoken out about Whedon, and said he and other DC executives are not “fit for leadership.”