Mads Mikkelsen Baffled After Reporter Asks Why There Aren’t Black People In His 18th-Century European Drama

Famous Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen and director Nikolaj Arcel were visibly baffled during the Venice Film Festival after a reporter asked why there weren’t more black actors in the 18th-century drama.

“The Promised Land” is a historical drama focusing on the life of Ludvig Kahlen who arrived in Denmark to cultivate the land but quickly ran into trouble. One of the main actors is a black woman, a move done to represent historical accuracy.

But that wasn’t obvious to one reporter, who asked why the film wasn’t more diverse.

“Hello, I am from Denmark and it’s a pleasure to be here,” a reporter asked. “So you’re a little bit into it, this is a cast and Danish production, which is entirely Nordic, it therefore has some lack of diversity you would say. There’s also new rules implied in Hollywood–”

“What are you onto?” Mikkelsen interjected immediately, shaking his head in disbelief.

“Sorry,” the reporter said before Mikkelsen told him to repeat his question from the start.

“There is said some rules of diversity across the Atlantic for competing in the best picture, the equivalent to this competition. As I see, you don’t live up to these standards with this broadcast and there is just a curiosity, it’s not because of artistic reasons, because of lack of diversity that this can’t compete in that competition. Are you worried about that?” (RELATED: Liberals Upset That People Enjoy Norse Movie Without Disney Levels Of Diversity)

“Are you?” Mikkelsen shot back. “You’re putting us on the spot so you answer the question.”

The report then noted the South Korean movie “Parasite” had a “level of diversity” and was eligible for the competition whereas “The Promised Land” has an “all Nordic cast and that’s what I think is a little bit conundrum.”

“I don’t understand the question,” Mikkelsen said, prompting Arcel to answer.

“Well, first of all, the film takes place in Denmark in the 1750’s, we do have a big plot line you know about a girl of color who is being subjected to racism and you know and which was very rare [to have] any people of color in Denmark and almost nobody, she was probably at the time the only one in the entire country of Denmark so I would say that it hasn’t been, it wasn’t a thought in our minds, that I think it would be a little weird, you know, if – it’s just a historical [portrayal] of how it was in 1750.”


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