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‘Promised Land’ Star, Director Stumped by Insane Diversity Question

Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Arcel chuckle over journalist's woke line of questioning

Richard Dreyfuss said it best.

The Oscar-winning actor, when asked about the Academy Awards demanding Best Picture candidates meet diversity guidelines, said the dictates “make me vomit.”

“This is an art form … no one should be telling me as an artist that I have to give in to the latest, most current idea of what morality is.”

The rules in question force filmmakers to embrace strict woke measures … or else miss a chance at the golden statuette and Hollywood immortality.

Most artists fear criticizing the rules lest they be judged a bigot, a homophone or just pick your favorite “ist” – racist, sexist, etc. Dreyfuss remains a glaring exception.

Others ignore the issue, hoping they won’t be asked about it any time soon.

Can you blame them?

The star and director behind “The Promised Land,” which just screened at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, must have drawn the short straw. They were both presented with a question about their film’s lack of diversity, at least by American standards.


The historical drama follows an 18th century army captain (Mikkelsen) struggling to raise his social status and maintain his values in an increasingly hostile climate. The film is based on a novel inspired by a real person, Captain Ludvig Kahlen.

An unnamed journalist from Denmark quizzed Mikkelsen and Arcel about the film’s alleged dearth of diversity. It’s set in a Nordic country circa the 1700s, therefore it’s not easy to install minority figures throughout the screen while maintaining an authentic approach.

Mads Mikkelsen and Nikolaj Arcel Discuss Diversity & 'The Promised Land' at the Venice Film Festival

The film is “entirely Nordic, it therefore has some lack of diversity you would say, there’s also new rules implied in Hollywood…” the journalist began.

Mikkelsen immediately shakes his head, laughs and turns to his director in apparent disbelief. The journalist continues, correctly noting that Best Picture nominees must align with a new rulebook that doesn’t consider artistic excellence.

“It’s not because of artistic reasons, it’s because of a lack of diversity,” the unnamed journalist continues. “Are you worried about it?”

“Are you?” Mikkelsen quickly asks in response. “You’re putting us on the spot so you answer the question.”

The journalist brought up the 2020 Best Picture winner “Parasite,” which also featured a single culture but it was South Korean, and therefore checked the appropriate diversity boxes, by Hollywood standards.

“I don’t understand the question,” says Mikkelsen, a frequent presence in U.S. films like “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” and “Casino Royale.”


Arcel took a crack at the question next.

“First of all, the film takes place in Denmark in the 1750s,” the director says. “We do have a big plot line about a girl of color who is being subjected to racism … she was probably at the time the only [person of color] in the entire country of Denmark.”

Diversity considerations, Arcel says, didn’t belong in the frame.

“It wasn’t a thought in our mind…I think it would be a little weird … it’s just how it was in the 1750s,” Arcel finishes, with Mikkelsen grinning beside him.


  1. There is a disturbing abundance of MORONS saying they should have just “IGNORED” OR “EYE ROLLED” THE QUESTION. This is a movie that might seek Academy Award recognition. Their not meeting the new and imo INSANE standards IS THE MOST RELEVANT THING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ASKED. And the excellent answer imo perfectly highlighted the absurdity of the Academy’s new rules!! It’s like you people that your entire lives have been content to”:Pooh pooh” and IGNORE racial injustice now demand everyone act as stupidly as you do!

    Most of your favorite movies were only ALL WHITE because of racism. Not because Whites are better Actors , writers or producers. I disagree with the Liberal’s beyond stupid solution to this BUT AT LEAST THEY CAN RECOGNIZE THE HISTORICAL NATURE OF THE PROBLEM where as YOU CONFEDERATE STATUE DEFENDERS, cannot. And why pray tell do REPUBLICANS DEFEND STATUES OF RACIST DEMOCRATS ? And can you find ANY OTHER SUBJECT here REPUBLICAN’S GO TO BAT FOR GROOMERS AND BABY KILLERS? Just when they were SLAVE OWNERS , is that it? I think that says more about WHAT’S IN YOU than any leftist screed ever could.

  2. Maybe you are missing the point: maybe the journo was raising the issue as a way of exposing the absurdity. Not everyone is aware of the Hollywood committees of aged coke snorting crazies and their proclamations.

  3. If the studios want to end this little annoyance, just stop caring about awards. No one watches the Academy Awards anyway. Just tell the rulers of the awards that the studios won’t be submitting any movies for award consideration in the future. This insanity will end real quick then.

    1. The Academy Awards and other similar ceremonies now are basically circle-jerks where the leftists tell each other how wonderful they are.

  4. This is NOT a dumb question. It’s just not leading enough. Poe’s Law is a real thing. You have to make clear what you’re asking.”

    “The South Korean film ‘Parasite’ is not eligible for awards because of Hollyweird’s dumb ass ‘diversity’ rules. This film similarly doesn’t have enough ‘diversity’ to pander to the idiots who run award events. As a person who is getting screwed over by the inane ‘diversity’ requirements for award eligibility, is there anything you’d like to say to the people mandating X percentage of black lesbian midgets for inclusion at the Oscars?”

  5. I am concerned about the otherwise-excellent film ‘Downfall’, as not enough Latinx were represented within Hitler’s inner circle. And don’t get me started about the lack of East-Asian representation in ‘Roots’.

  6. There’s a simple solution. Stop making films about the culture or history of predominantly white countries or cultures. Just pretend they don’t exist and concentrate on making films about nations or cultures that are non-white.

    At least, that’s what the left would like you to do. Just erase the white race from film, especially any such films that show them in a positive light.

  7. Silly little wokester trying to get a gotcha about the people in a movie about the 1700’s.

    He should have asked about the diversity of the crew.

    1. Exactly so. Such questions and underlying attitudes will continue until they are firmly ignored. And the people insisting on them are dumb narcissists, so it may take some extended ignoring. But I have been doing it for at least a decade and have enough ignoring stockpiled to go at least a couple more.

      Also, why would anyone outside of Hollywood worry about the Oscar’s? Even before the Woke crap came along, even as an aspiring young actor I knew they were more about Hollywood politics than artistry.

  8. Imagine not even being embarrassed to ask such an inane question. This will all end when more artists just roll their eyes at these idiots and just ignore them.

    1. It isn’t an INANE question and only an IDIOT or a RACIST would try to frame it as such. THE MOTION PICTURE ACADEMY has come out with RULES which I AS A FORMER BLACK ACTOR think are INSANE, however a PRESS CONFERENCE ABOUT AN EFFING MOVIE that might seek an ACADEMY AWARD is the EXACT PLACE TO ASK SUCH A QUESTION. And the answer , which imo was PERFECT nicely highlights the ABSURDITY of the rules.

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