Alexandre Dumas to be played by Gerard Depardieu in new film

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Alexandre Dumas played by a white actor? That’s the controversial role the ubiquitous French actor Gerard Depardieu has taken on in a new film called The Other Dumas. Dumas, author of such famous novels as “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “The Three Musketeers,” was the grandson of a freed Haitian slave and a French nobleman, but that hasn’t stopped Depardieu, France’s busiest actor, from playing Dumas.

The blue-eyed blond actor darkened his skin and donned a curly-hair wig for his starring role, triggering a heated debate in France, which is currently struggling with issues of race and identity. Depardieu called the debate over his role “ridiculous” and “unnecessary.”

But France's Representative Council of Black Associations has objected to Depardieu in the role, saying black actors are not given an opportunity to play white roles in French cinema. "It's very shocking and it is insulting," Patrick Lozes, president of the council, told the London Daily Mail. "It is a way of saying that we don't have any black actors who have the talent to play Alexandre Dumas, which of course is not true. In 150 years' time could the role of [U.S. President] Barack Obama be played in a film by a white actor with a fuzzy wig?" he added. "Can Martin Luther King be played by a white?"...

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