Tina Fey Addresses Whitewash Casting Criticism For Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Photo: David Fisher/REX Shutterstock.
Tina Fey predicted the backlash about certain casting choices in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot from the very beginning. What's more: She tried to head it off at the pass.

If you're not up to speed, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot a film for which Fey serves as both a producer and a leading lady — features Alfred Molina and Christopher Abbott portraying Afghans. Molina is British; Abbott is American. Put another way, neither of these men are from their characters' native region, and that fact has come under no small amount of fire.

Fey knew it was coming, as she admitted in recent conversation with The New York Times. When asked by reporter Melena Ryzik how involved she was in the decision to cast two white actors, Fey said, "I had a lot of say. If your next question is, 'Why is Chris Abbott not Afghan?' I did beg [the casting directors], 'Guys, my preference would be a native speaker.'"

"They pleaded their case that Chris [was] their choice," she went on, adding that it's "tricky" because "Afghans [can be] Caucasians." Fey also said that she made it clear to the casting directors that she would ultimately be the one to take the heat for the decision — which has, of course, turned out to be true.

"Do you really like this guy?" she recalled saying, "because the only person — the only person! — who’s going to get in trouble for this is me."

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