'Harriet' screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard claims a Hollywood studio executive once suggested that Julia Roberts play the lead role of Harriet Tubman in his film. Howard claims this ridiculousness happened over 25 years ago when he was pitching the film. The studio exec allegedly said:
"This script is fantastic. Let's get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman."
And if you think the unnamed exec was joking, think again, he allegedly went on to say:
"It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference."
So glad this extreme whitewashing never came to be. SOURCE