Disney is receiving major backlash after the Hollywood Reporter announced earlier this week that actor Billy Magnussen will be joining the cast in the live-action "Aladdin" film to play a character that wasn’t even in the 1992 animated version.
When the news broke the Twittersphere wasted no time questioning Disney's decision.
Apparently Disney doesn't realize that white people don't need to be in everything. Are they that scared of having an entire cast of POC?— Loriann Noguchi (@lightlycynical) September 6, 2017
for the Aladdin live action they created a new character just so they could cast a white wtf— tasia.m.s (@_tasiaMS) September 6, 2017
So we're just gonna white wash Aladdin? Like why? What made y'all think white washing movies is ok?!!! @Disney— kath (@kathhhuynh) September 7, 2017
Some users even got creative with their Tweets and added gifs.
First critics were worried that the film would be white-washed when it came to the main characters, but Disney avoided the likely firestorm when they cast Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massod as "Aladdin" and Tunisian-Dutch actor Marwan Kenzair as the evil sorcerer Jafar.
When it came to casting the beautiful Princess Jasmine is when the initial backlash started because actress Naomi Scott who landed the role is of both British and Gujarati Indian descent and not Arab like the character is. Many critics felt that Disney was suggesting that all brown-skinned women were interchangeable. When Disney announced that that Will Smith was playing the lovable Genie it seemed to put them back in the good graces, but evidently, that time has come and passed.
Earlier this year producer Dan Lin promised fans that he and director Guy Ritchie will make a movie that is authentic to that world, yet this recent casting decision seems far from that notion. Last year, Disney's "Moana" was a commercial and critical success and praised as an example of how to tell superb, diverse stories, so maybe there is hope. It's definitely way too early to tell if this will hold true of "Aladdin" but one thing is for certain: the public is paying attention.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Flickr user JD Hancock