The new Oliver Stone movie World Trade Center, which I have yet to see, focuses on the rescue of two men from the rubble. One of the Marines who helped to find them disappeared shortly after 9/11 and has only now come forth to confess to being one of the rescuers. His story is interesting in its own right. But the relationship between the real man and his cinematic representation adds an intriguing twist to it:
Shamberg said he apologized to Thomas for an inaccuracy in the film: Thomas is black, but the actor cast to portray him, William Mapother, is white. Filmmakers realized the mistake only after production had begun, Shamberg said.
Thomas laughed and gently chided the filmmakers, then politely declined to discuss it further. "I don't want to shed any negativity on what they were trying to show," he said.
Given the fact that our armed forces are considerably more diverse than most other American institutions, it says a lot that the filmmakers assumed that the mysterious Marine must have been white. At least no one can accuse them of celluloid affirmative action.