Late last week, Gods of Egypt director Alex Proyas apologized for the lack of diversity in his upcoming film. The film, set for release in January, headlines four white actors in the period epic: Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Brenton Thwaites. Both Proyas and Lionsgate have been intensely criticized for the casting decision, and both director and studio subsequently issued apologies. Proyas wrote:

“The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse. I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by the decisions we made.”

Lionsgate echoed Proyas’ statement:

“We recognize that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologize.”

Following the statements, director Ava DuVernay tweeted about the apologies, as well as the casting decision. “We all deserve icons in our own image,” she wrote as she praised J.J. Abrams’ casting in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

Image via AP.