On Wednesday, TMZ published a photo from the set of the movie Good Boys of what appears to be the stand-in for child actor Keith L. Williams and reported that the film had used brown makeup to darken the stand-in actor’s face. (Both Williams and the stand-in are black.)
Good Boys is the upcoming directorial debut from Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. A person on the set of the movie filed a complaint about the apparent use of blackface, according to TMZ:
Other sources connected to the production company, Good Universe, tell us it’s “not uncommon for lighting purposes to match actors’ skin tones” ... and they insist this is not a blackface situation.
We’ve spoken to others in the industry who say their experience is, rather than using makeup, casting directors typically make a point of hiring stand-ins who match the actors’ complexions.
The question of whether filmmakers should do what could even remotely be construed as blackface in 2018 is: nah. Rogen and Goldberg have yet to comment on the matter, and neither have Eisenberg and Stupnitsky.
Update (Aug. 3, 1:09 p.m.): Seth Rogen has responded, stating he’s “terribly sorry” this happened and won’t make excuses for it—instead, he promises to take measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again on his set. “It’s on me to be proactive,” he says. “Reacting isn’t enough.”
Read his full statement to IndieWire:
“I should start by saying this shouldn’t have happened, and I’m terribly sorry it did,” Rogen said. “I won’t give excuses for why it happened. I’ll just say that as soon I was made aware of it, I ensured we put an end to it – and I give my word that on any project my team and I are involved in, we will take every precaution to make sure something similar does not take place again. I’m engaging in conversations to make sure I find the best way to do that. It’s on me to be proactive. Reacting isn’t enough.”