On today’s installment of Hollywood continues to struggle with its glaring race problem, Bridgerton breakout star, Regé-Jean Page reportedly lost out a role as Superman's grandfather on SyFy's Krypton simply for being Black, according to a new story from The Hollywood Reporter.
On Tuesday, the entertainment outlet published an explosive profile on Ray Fisher, the actor behind the DCEU's Cyborg, delving into his decision to speak out against director Joss Whedon, who he said acted in a manner that was “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable' on the set of 2017's Justice League, and how he says he felt obligated “to explain some of the most basic points of what would be offensive to the Black community” upon Zack Snyder's departure from the film.
Aside from sharing his gut-wrenching on set stories, including execs' purported concerns of Fisher portraying Cyborg as “an angry black man,” with producer Geoff Johns allegedly suggesting he draw inspiration from The Hunchback of Notre Dame's Quasimodo, the article delves into another highly disturbing claim about the ex-DC Films co-chairman – that he reportedly nixed the notion of Superman having a black grandfather or being a member of the LGBTQAI+ community.
According to “multiple sources" that spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, Krypton's showrunners were apparently “passionate” about doing some “nontraditional casting," with Page, who would later star as Simon Basset in the popular Netflix series, auditioning to play Superman's grandfather. Johns, however, was reportedly not too keen on this idea, allegedly asserting that Superman could not have a black grandfather. Furthermore, Johns, who oversaw the show also reportedly shot down the creator's idea of portraying superhero Adam Strange as gay or bisexual.
However, Johns team swiftly denied these allegations. "Geoff celebrates and supports LGTBQ characters, including Batwoman, who in 2006 was re-introduced as LGBTQ in a comic-book series co-written by Johns," His rep explained via email, noting that the director developed a series around DC's first LGBTQAI+ superhero lead. The rep also added that Johns reportedly thought fans would want the character to look like a young Henry Cavill, who was Superman at the time.
As the story of how his race reportedly played an unfair role into his rejection from a highly-coveted role, which ultimately went to Florence Foster Jenkins's Cameron Cuffe, began permeating headlines, Page took to Twitter, opening up about the emotional impact of these alarming allegations of racism.
“Hearing about these conversations hurts no less now than it did back then,” he wrote. “The clarifications almost hurt more tbh. Still just doing my thing. Still we do the work. We still fly.”
So with a J.J. Abrams/Ta-Nehisi Coates Superman reboot in the works, let's hope Page finally gets a fair shot at soaring into superhero stardom.