Hollywood executive wanted Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman in a biopic

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(CNN) – Screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard talked about the long road to getting the movie “Harriet” made during a recent interview with focus features.

Howard says about twenty years ago, an unnamed executive at Disney suggested Julia Roberts be cast in the role of the African-American woman.

British actress Cynthia Erivo ended up getting the part in the recently released film.

There’s no word whether anyone actually approached Julia Roberts about the role of Harriet Tubman.

But many on social media reacted to the revelation — upset that a white actress would be considered to portray the former slave and leader of the underground railroad.

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