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    A Studio Executive Suggested That Julia Roberts Play Harriet Tubman In A Biopic And People Are Flabbergasted

    "'It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.'"

    Chile, I was minding my business, getting ready for bed last night when I saw THIS article come across my timeline from Entertainment Weekly:

    Entertainment Weekly

    My initial reaction:

    Y'all, I thought I was being punk'd. I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to pop out from underneath my bed. But naw, the article was REAL.

    According to Gregory Allen Howard, the screenwriter and producer for the current Harriet biopic, an unnamed studio executive suggested Julia Roberts play Harriet Tubman in 1994, when the film was in early production.

    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, Universalimagesgroup / Getty Images

    Gregory recalled with the outlet, "I was told how one studio head said in a meeting, 'This script is fantastic. Let’s get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman'."


    Apparently, the exec thought NO ONE would question Julia portraying the iconic black abolitionist.

    Gregory continued, saying, "When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, 'It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.'"

    Parkwood Entertainment


    Luckily, that horrible idea was never considered and the part went to the talented and decorated Broadway actress Cynthia Erivo.

    Focus Features

    However, that didn't stop Twitter from eviscerating the mere thought of suggesting Julia Roberts to play Harriet. Here are some of the best reactions:

    @EW Was Scarlett Johansson unavaible for the role?

    “Do you think Julia Roberts was walking around with a f****** nice shiny f****** dress on with a f****** crown on her head when she was taking slaves??? 💣 TO FREEDOM!!!”

    Julia Roberts was really just minding her business and then boom, she's trending alongside Harriet Tubman

    Even Sophia Turner weighed in:

    Gonna tell my kids this is Julia Roberts

    This person joked that a photo of Julia Roberts will appear on the $20, standing in for Harriet, if/when she does replace Andrew Jackson:

    @jemelehill I give you **drum roll** the new Harriet Tubman Twenty. #HarrietTubman #JuliaRoberts

    Others assumed Julia Roberts wanted nothing to do with this mess:

    #JuliaRoberts is probably sitting somewhere like...

    Julia Roberts is somewhere minding her damn business....

    @EW Hollywood execs: hey Julia, gotta role for you... Harriet Tubman. Julia Roberts:

    Someone find Julia Roberts I really want a comment !

    Me running to see why Julia Roberts is trending on Twitter. Also me running away after finding out why Julia Roberts is trending.

    They really was going to try to push Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman because it was “so long ago” and “know one would notice.”

    @EW We deserve to know their name. Anyone this egregious needs to be named publicly

    Thinking about Julia Roberts as Harriet Tubman like

    The biggest lesson for studio exes here? Historical black figures should be played by black people — and yes, we will notice if not. K, Bye.

    The CW

    TV and Movies

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