Disney criticised for ‘whitewashing’ its remake of Aladdin

By Kalendra Withana

Upon announcement that Disney has casted a white actor in its upcoming remake of Aladdin, critics have been accusing the multinational conglomerate of ‘whitewashing’ the original story.


The live-action remake will see a new character called Prince Anders being introduced onto the screen, and it has been confirmed that Billy Magnussen has been casted for the role.

The 32-year old has already featured in 2014 Disney musical ‘Into the Woods’, playing the role of Rapunzel’s prince.

Initial claims that Disney is not choosing to be faithful to the original storyline of Aladdin began to emerge in July, where the company chose to cast Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine.

In the 1992 classic, Princess Jasmine is Arabian, as are the rest of the characters in the Middle-Eastern story set in the fictional city of Agrabah. Scott, however, is of British and Indian heritage.

In conveying frustrations at Disney’s recent casting choices, loyal fans took to the social media platform of Twitter.

Furthermore, on the subject of Naomi Scott, one critic wrote:

“People have a right to be upset about Naomi Scott being cast. They're upset that their representation was taken away, and rightly so,”

Disney themselves have not yet expressed input on the casting decisions.

The forthcoming remake of the 1992 motion picture, which grossed over $504 million worldwide, is directed by Guy Ritchie and is not set to have a release date as of this time.

Ritchie himself was asked by fans to refrain from “whitewashing” after speculated rumours that actor Tom Hardy may appear in a role in the film.

Other members of cast include Egyptian actor Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Marwan Kenzari as the villain Jafar and Will Smith as Genie.

On Wednesday, Smith posted on a selfie on Facebook with his fellow cast members, saying that remake’s shooting has now begun to commence.

Sources – The Independent, BBC News, news.com.au
Headline photo - Deadline

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