In his 7.17 review of Chris Nolan‘s Dunkirk, USA Today‘s Brian Truitt mentioned with a straight face that the absence of black or brown actors may constitute a perception problem in some quarters. He actually said this. Literal quote: “The trio of timelines can be jarring as you figure out how they all fit, and the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way.”
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the oppression of 21st Century political correctness laid bare on the table.
There’s been a reaction to this on Facebook, followed by a reaction to this reaction. Last night Forbes critic Scott Mendelsohn wrote, “You folks are really going to give USA Today critic crap over a half-a-sentence note that Dunkirk is indeed a white dude sausage fest (accurate) in an otherwise uber-positive 3.5-star review? This is why I don’t write hot takes anymore, because I can’t bear to be associated with such reactionary crap.”
A “white dude sausage fest”? To the best of my knowledge 1940s England was pretty much an all-white country, at least as far as its troops were concerned, but depicting this social reality in a 2017 film will draw sporadic catcalls.
Mendelsohn’s comment drew a reply from Facebook poster Zachary Sosland, to wit: “I’m not upset with the review as much as I am with the potential message that movies should sacrifice historical accuracy for political correctness.”