On Monday, news broke that Maika Monroe — an on-the-rise actress from recent independent movie hits like “It Follows” and “The Guest” — had been cast to play the president’s daughter in the upcoming sequel to “Independence Day.”
The casting was initially a minor item highlighting how Monroe is climbing up the Hollywood ranks, but the problem for many is the news meant that the actress who initially played the role in the original 1996 film was now getting the boot.
Young actress Mae Whitman played the president’s daughter in the first “Independence Day.”
The role launched Whitman’s successful acting career, which has included starring roles in hit TV series “Parenthood” and most recently the successful teen comedy, “The Duff,” which stands for “Designated Ugly Fat Friend.”
Fans of Whitman, now 26, quickly came to her defence after the casting news. People on social media have been calling out Fox, the studio behind the “Independence Day” sequel, for allegedly recasting the role with a more “conventionally hot” actress to play opposite Liam Hemsworth, who will reportedly be the love interest of Monroe’s character.
Marika Monroe was very good in It Follows, but there’s no good reason why Mae Whitman should not reprise her role as POTUS’s daughter in ID2
— Marshall Flores (@IPreferPi314) April 28, 2015
I honestly think they recast Mae Whitman bc they felt like they she wasn’t good enough to be romantic interest with Liam Hemsworth,
— Lilly (@klphoen) April 29, 2015
Even actress Anna Kendrick took to Twitter to voice her displeasure with the recasting:
Whitman has been quiet about the decision, though she did reply to Kendrick with this:
HitFix‘s Drew McWeeny reports that Whitman didn’t even make the shortlist of actors for the role and he thinks the reason is obvious:
“…the oh-so-cute actors whose names were on the list all seem to be more of a conventionally ‘hot’ type than Whitman, making it look clearly like they were chasing a certain something.”
But over at ScreenCrush, Britt Hayes called out her male colleagues who think they have rushed to judgement that the decision by Fox was solely based on looks.
“The prevalent thinking I’m seeing from a lot of my male writers on Twitter is that Whitman is not ‘conventionally attractive,’ and therefore Fox went with someone who is. This thinking is offensive on various levels. First of all, comparing the attractiveness of two women, even in an attempt to rationalize a disagreeable situation such as this one, is awful and perpetuates a competitive culture in which women are forced to examine themselves through the lens of what men find attractive. That this was the first speculated narrative is unfortunate — and whether or not it’s true, it’s depressing to see men I respect insisting that a woman wasn’t hired because she’s just not pretty enough….”
Monroe has also been mum about the controversy. Only tweeting this following the casting news.
Fox has not yet given a reason for why Whitman wasn’t considered for the sequel.
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