According to Variety and BuzzFeed, it is “inevitable” that Hollywood will make a movie about Rachel Dolezal. So they have gone straight into stunt casting, with BuzzFeed suggesting 17 white actresses to play Dolezal — from Kate Hudson and Lindsay Lohan to Anne Hathaway and Taylor Swift — with Variety deciding that Amy Schumer was their favorite option.
They’re having fun with the idea, maybe too much fun, but it does seem like Hollywood won’t be able to resist telling this story, whether in a Lifetime movie or big screen biopic. If you’ve been hiding in “Orange Is the New Black” or “Jurassic World” screenings and don’t know, Rachel is the (now former) president of the Spokane, WA chapter of the NAACP whose parents revealed she was born white, not black, eroding a series of details Dolezal had shared about her own past.
Celebrities have been weighing in on the situation, with Keri Hilson and Cher taking serious heat for defending aspects of Dolezal’s actions, and comedian Dave Chappelle sharing his own thoughtful reaction. (For the record, in a racial draft, one of his most memorable sketches, he thinks she’d be drafted for black.) If there is a movie about this situation, the divided response would probably be part of it. In the right hands, it might not be a terrible biopic. (Maybe Lee Daniels would go for it?) But it could go wince-worthy wrong in a dozen different ways, especially if they don’t take it seriously or cast the wrong lead. At the very least, expect some ripped-from-the-headlines stories on this topic to show up on TV shows next season. That’s usually how it works.
Would you watch a movie on Rachel Dolezal? If so, any serious casting suggestions?