Ewan McGregor’s new movie has been hit by a racism row.
The Australian producers of crime thriller Son of a Gun have sparked controversy by advertising for Aboriginal actors to play convicts.
In the film, Ewan stars as “Public Enemy Number One”, who schools a criminal apprentice in prison. The movie-makers are looking for extras to play jailbirds.
Their job ad for prisoners said they were “mainly looking for Aboriginal, Islander, Maori and Middle Eastern males”.
The apparent stereo-typing has been criticised by the director of the Colourfest Film Festival, which focuses on “migrant and diasporic” stories.
Gary Paramanathan said: “The problem lies in the fact it’s only the extras and the villains who are from these backgrounds and there’s nothing to offset that.
“You never get to find any redeeming qualities in them, they’re always relegated to being people you never have any attachment to, and I think that can be projected into reality.”
The production firm behind the film acknowledged criticism of the perceived racism, admitting: “The casting call was unfortunately worded and needed proper context.
“It is an unfortunate fact that a high proportion of Western Australia prisoners are of Aboriginal descent.
“When the advertisement was placed we had already sourced our prison extras of Caucasian descent (who form the majority of prisoners).