Harriet writer Gregory Allen Howard reveals a studio wanted Julia Roberts to star

Harriet writer Gregory Allen Howard reveals a studio executive originally wanted Julia Roberts to play the black abolitionist

Harriet screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard revealed that, when his biopic was first set up at a ‘studio sublabel’ 25 years ago, an executive wanted Julia Roberts to play the black abolitionist.

In an essay written by Howard for the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, the 57 year old screenwriter told the ‘then-president’ of this studio sublabel that Roberts isn’t black.  

‘That was so long ago. No one will know that,’ the studio president replied, which marked the rocky start of the 25 year journey of Harriet to the big screen, which is currently in theaters, starring Cynthia Erivo.

Julia as Harriet?: Harriet screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard revealed that, when his biopic was first set up at a 'studio sublabel' 25 years ago, an executive wanted Julia Roberts to play the black abolitionist

Julia as Harriet?: Harriet screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard revealed that, when his biopic was first set up at a ‘studio sublabel’ 25 years ago, an executive wanted Julia Roberts to play the black abolitionist 

Cynthia as Harriet: 'That was so long ago. No one will know that,' the studio president replied, which marked the rocky start of the 25 year journey of Harriet to the big screen, which is currently in theaters, starring Cynthia Erivo (above)

Cynthia as Harriet: ‘That was so long ago. No one will know that,’ the studio president replied, which marked the rocky start of the 25 year journey of Harriet to the big screen, which is currently in theaters, starring Cynthia Erivo (above)

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