Director Tim Burton’s Comments on Diversity Draw Criticism

By OckyDub | Posted Oct 2 2016 | 6 Comments  


I personally have never been a Tim Burton fan but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he is a great film maker or director. Years ago during Beetle Juice and Batman, I noticed the lack of non-pale ghostly looking folks in his films. So as a consumer, I had no problem keeping my dollars and my film viewing time to myself and not giving Mr. Burton my time. I’m only one dude so who cares?

Well, obviously I’m not the only observer who noticed the lack of hue in Mr. Burton’s films. In the 20 plus films Burton has directed, only 3 have featured men of color; Billy D Williams in Batman, Michael Clarke Duncan in Planet of the Apes and Samuel L Jackson in his current film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

When interviewed by Bustle about his lack of film diversity, Burton stated;

“Nowadays, people are talking about it more. Things either call for things, or they don’t. I remember back when I was a child watching The Brady Bunch and they started to get all politically correct. Like, OK, let’s have an Asian child and a black. I used to get more offended by that than just … I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, that’s great. I didn’t go like, OK, there should be more white people in these movies.”

Twitter reaction was swift.


1 2 3 4

I get it, a film based on a story set in England where there are few non-white people would have few (if any) non-white people but what about all his other fantasy sci-fi films? And Burton aren’t in a class by themselves. Many fantasy science fiction films either don’t feature or feature very few people of color making is seem like in the film makers minds, “people of color don’t exist in the future”. Maybe there was some sort of virus that wiped out the majority of melanated folks on the planet and the future events in the films pick up after. BUT things are continuing to change if only you use the Marvel / Disney universe big screen material as an example. 

For his reaction Samuel L Jackson stated, “I had to go back in my head and go, how many black characters have been in Tim Burton movies? And I may have been the first, I don’t know… I don’t think it’s any fault of his or his method of storytelling, it’s just how it’s played out. Tim’s a really great guy.”

Well what do you think about Burton’s response and also the lack of diversity in fantasy science fiction films?



About the Author

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

Categorized as :

6 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. LeMignon
    LeMignon | October 3rd, 2016

    I imagine that he’s one of the big names in Hollywood who regularly advocates against diversity in the movies.

  2. hannibal
    hannibal | October 3rd, 2016

    He gave us Beetlejuice. He can do what he wants.

  3. OckyDub
    Ockydub | October 3rd, 2016

    He gave us Beetlejuice. He can do what he wants.

    So can Nate Parker…opps

  4. alton
    alton | October 4th, 2016

    I love how "Internet Warriors" read one thing in a person's commentary and just latch on to that shyt without thinking it through, first. I'm MORE than sure, Tim Burton has NEVER watched er' Blaxploitation film in his entire life. He most likely was using that as a {poor} example to explain his case, but everybody only saw "Blaxploitation" and used it to go in on him. Fantasy movies is one of those genres where you really can't say shyt to the creator about anything because it all comes out of their mind. You just observe their work and it tells you what they really think about the present world and the people in it. If Tim Burton and J.R.R. Tolkien, and Lyman F. Baum don't/ didn't have POC in their imaginary worlds then, oh well. Don't support their work. We've discussed this topic on the site before. If "We" (POC) are that pissy about wantin' to see more POC in different types of films, then maybe we need to start pushing our youths to want to do something other than be a rapper or a sports figure, and the current producers and creators should make something other than Church based movies, Sports based movies, {some kind of} Relationship or "That Otha' B@tch" based Movies, and Romantic/Family based Comedies. Rant done.

  5. Jdudre | October 4th, 2016

    I think this subject has been beaten to death and it should be obvious by now that some people will never understand why diversity is important especially as our world becomes bigger and more connected.
    to Some people the idea of diversification will never be more then a "fad" that will neither effect them negatively or positively and that is fine it's just the way it is if we real care we should create our own thing and eventually it will become either main stream or it at the very least it will reach the people it needs too help.
    Still love his work though

  6. Lancer
    Lancer | October 4th, 2016

    We as consumers can do what we want with our $$$. If you want to go support his movies and do not mind having no representation fine, if you do not want to cos of the lack of representation spend that $$$ on films you see yourself represented, and if you want to see it but do not want your $$$ to go to it there is always Torrent. Choice is yours ppl.

You can add images to your comment by CLICKING HERE.

Want to add BOLD or Underlined Text? CLICK HERE    |    To See The Comments Section Rules, CLICK HERE