Jesse Williams in talks for ‘The Butler,’ petition started for ‘Hunger Games’ sequel casting

Jesse Williams

Eric Charbonneau

Jesse Williams is currently in talks for  a role in Lee Daniels‘ period drama The Butler. The film centers Eugene Allen (Forest Whitaker), a severant who started  working at the White House in 1952 and went on to serve eight presidents. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Allen was said to have “a unique front-row seat as political and racial history were being made — from the civil rights movement and Vietnam War to the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.” Other familiar names attached to the project are Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, and John Cusack.

In addition to negotiating a role in Butler, fans of Williams have started a petition on change.org in an effort to get the actor cast as Finnick Odair in Catching Fire, the follow up to the highly successful Hunger Games film. According to Jezebel, the character is described as an extremely handsome man with “tan skin” (also referred to as “golden”), “bronze-colored hair” and “incredible” sea-green eyes. However, much like the racial controversy over the first film’s cast, some racist fans of the film and book series have responded negatively to a man of color (with green eyes and tan skin) being considered for the part.

Williams’ credits include The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Brooklyn’s Finest and most recentlyCabin in the Woods. He can currently be seen as a regular on Grey’s Anatomy. The actor just wrapped the star-studded black western short They Die By Dawn.

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Forest Whitaker, David Oyelowo, and Oprah Winfrey in talks for Lee Daniels’ “The Butler”