Earlier this year, we revealed that Shia LaBeouf was one of the names at the top of Marvel’s wish-list for casting the title role in Moon Knight, but one potentially major drawback was that the actor converted to Christianity while shooting David Ayer’s World War II drama Fury and the studio were looking for a Jewish lead given that Marc Spector’s beliefs are a huge part of his personality and character.
Fast forward five months, and Oscar Isaac was announced to be in talks to play the cult favorite superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Disney Plus series. The news went down a storm with the majority of fans who were excited to see a fantastic and supremely talented actor suit up to tackle one of Marvel’s most complex and complicated figures, but there’s now been a wave of backlash because the 41 year-old isn’t Jewish.
That didn’t seem to bother the Coen brothers when they cast him in Inside Llewellyn Davis to great results, and the entire point of being an actor is to disappear into parts that aren’t indicative of personal beliefs or ideologies. Nonetheless, a certain section of the fanbase have blasted Marvel’s casting decision, and you can check out some of the reactions below.
Oscar Isaac as Moon Knight is both exciting and disappointing
I think he is a great actor and MK is a fave so obviously that's neat
But also he isn't Jewish at all and thats a pretty big part of MK's character, which is a big missed opportunity
— Happy HallZoeen! (@Blankzilla) October 26, 2020
so, to be clear, they couldn't be bothered to get a Jewish lead for Wandavision, Moon Knight, or Batwoman (and they had TWO chances with that one), fun
— ? Ariel ? (@AKARELK) October 26, 2020
I think Oscar Isaac is a great actor, but #MoonKnight is one of the view JEWISH comic book characters! It is an essential part of his character and it should go to a Jewish actor!!!!!! Just like for black characters etc. #Marvel #Disney #comicbooks
— Jacob Barber (@NewKidJake8) October 27, 2020
moon knight is of jewish-egyptian background marvel overlords, oliver jackson-cohen was right there??? why y'all do this to yourselves in 2020 pic.twitter.com/qWV4LTDNNA
— noshin ? (@lgbtepiphany) October 27, 2020
im sorry, id love to see oscar isaac in the mcu as any other person but moon knight is jewish and actual jewish actors deserve that role.
it already happened to the maximoffs who are romani and jewish, yet they've been blalantly white-washed. pls dont let it pass
— spooky tina (@taikadcohen) October 27, 2020
Gonna expose myself as a fucking nerd and complain about what sounds like the total lack of Jewish involvement in that new marvel Moon Knight show
Oscar Isaac being ancestrally Jewish is not the best they could’ve done for one of marvels few big Jewish characters like
— Alex says fuck cops (@bootleg_yeezys) October 27, 2020
That said, really bizarre to not cast a Jewish actor for Moon Knight given how vital that is for that character.
I guess Hollywood gonna Hollywood at the end of the day.
— Ritesh (@GhosttGray) October 26, 2020
Not a fan of Oscar Isaac as Moon Knight.
I always notice that when it's an actor that the majority of people like, no one says a word when they're cast in a role they shouldn't be.
A Jewish actor should be playing Moon Knight and that's all I have to say about that. pic.twitter.com/xhKw1SPoe7
— Britany (@britany_murphs) October 26, 2020
Best-case scenario the MCU continues its "gentiles play Jewish characters, Jews play gentiles" pattern.
But more likely they'll erase the fact that Moon Knight's dad is a rabbi. Because it's unimportant, just like Wanda and Pietro's Judaism was unimportant, right Marvel?
— Amy but mildly frightening as per the season (@spooloflies) October 26, 2020
As expected, they didn’t cast someone Jewish to be Moon Knight
Marvel you had to do literally one thing
— ✒️ ? Zoe ? ? (@alterstil) October 26, 2020
This is disappointing, I love Oscar Issac but he isn't Jewish and honestly isn't really a good fit for the character of Moon Knight… You need an actor who is also a chameleon for this role and so far he hasn't shown the chops for that. https://t.co/cf4XiRy1vm
— Akitten (@Akicat_r) October 26, 2020
taking back my tweet celebrating oscar isaac’s casting as moon knight because i just found out moon knight is Jewish! @MarvelStudios do better
— les-beast (@spidervrese) October 26, 2020
Moon Knight being Jewish comes from both an ethnic and religious standpoint in the comics.
Isaac himself described his upbringing as "very Christian" so I still think they could have found another Latinx Jewish actor to portray Moon Knight.
— Britany (@britany_murphs) October 26, 2020
wait a min the writer for the moon knight series is from umbrella academy… wasn't umbrella academy s2 pretty antisemitic?
oh no, we are definitely in for a non-jewish, or at the very least jewish and possibly villainized, adaptation of moon knight ?
— rachel (@covingtxn) October 26, 2020
I love me some Oscar Isaac, I really do, but I am really disappointed that Disney+ is Jew-washing Moon Knight. Hopefully the character is still Jewish on the show.
— Scary Wombat (@NewWombat) October 26, 2020
Admittedly, Marc Spector’s Jewish heritage is a key part of his backstory, but we’re also talking about a costumed vigilante that gets left for dead before striking a pact with the Egyptian moon god Khonshu in exchange for his resurrection. Actors play roles that are diametrically opposite to their own beliefs all the time, but the fact that this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe means that a more intense level of scrutiny was inevitably going to be applied to Moon Knight‘s choice of lead.