If there were a list of actresses who would be on a shortlist to play historical figure Harriet Tubman, most would guess that Julia Roberts wouldn’t be on it — but she reportedly almost was.
Gregory Allen Howard, screenwriter of the new movie Harriet, revealed in a Focus Features Q&A that when he first pitched the film 25 years ago, an executive suggested Roberts play Tubman.
When it was pointed out that it might not be great to have a white actress play an African American hero, he was told the executive responded, “It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.”
Talk show host Wendy Williams weighed in on the news, asking, “Are you serious?”
Williams also said, “It’s bad enough that we don’t get enough black history taught to our children in present day, but I think that the one person they definitely know is Harriet Tubman.”