Poor casting decisions and the resulting public reaction are nothing new in Hollywood. Many times, people don't give it any thought and continue with their decisions. Other times, once a film is out, bad casting decisions turn into famous parts, but not in these eight instances. In the cases that follow, Hollywood made modifications after paying attention to criticism.
In 2018, Scarlett Johansson was cast to play the role of Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender man. Although casting a cis straight woman to play the role of a trans man was nothing new for Hollywood, fans expected more from Scar Jo. After trans rights activists and LGBTQ+ fans protested against the decision, Scar Jo backed off from the project.
A few days after the announcement to cast Will Ferrell in the movie came in 2016, the actor's spokesperson released an announcement stating that Ferrell would not be a part of the movie. The announcement was made after public backlash, including from the former president's daughter, Patti Davis.
In 2014, Zendaya dropped out as the lead actor in Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, because the late singer's family was not excited about the biopic. "I tried my best to reach out to the family on my own, and I wrote a letter, but I was unable to do so; therefore, I felt not really morally OK with moving forward with the project," Zendaya explained.
Initially, Sacha Baron Cohen was cast to assume the role of Freddie Mercury in the biopic of the late Queen singer when the film was announced in 2010. When Cohen withdrew from the production in 2013, the movie suffered greatly.
In 2010, Leo DiCaprio was supposed to play the lead in Mel Gibson's Viking epic, Berserker. Leo left the project after Gibson's infamous, career-ending racist rant was leaked online. There has not been any update on the project yet.
Hollywood is well known for spreading negative stereotypes and whitewashing Asian characters. The casting of Ed Skrein as Benjamin Daimio, a Japanese character, in the Hellboy revival was nothing new. Because the movie was based on a Japanese comic, Skrein was forced to leave the part because Skrein's casting was not acceptable to the fans of the original comics.
Johnny Depp made a cameo in the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and was all set to play a major role in the sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. This was around the time when Amber Heard was granted a restraining order against Depp after she alleged the actor had physically and verbally abused her during the span of their marriage.
After being a part of Deadpool and The Mandalorian, Gina Carano grabbed everyone's attention for all the wrong reasons. In February 2021, she took to the internet to make problematic statements comparing American politics to the Holocaust. She has also made anti-trans statements publicly.