Quantcast
Published On: Sun, Jan 7th, 2018

‘Aladdin’ under attack for ‘browning up’ white extras, an ‘ insult to the entire industry’

The upcoming live-action remake of Aladdin is making headlines….for all of the wrong reasons. The new project, directed by Guy Ritchie (The Man from UNCLE, Sherlock Holmes) is reportedly using makeup to darken the skin of 100 actors working as extras.

“Fury as Disney ‘browns up’ white actors to star in Aladdin despite filming next to one million-strong Asian community,” reads a Daily Mail headline today, while The Sunday Times article that broke the story is topped with “Genie, brown up some extras for Aladdin.”

The film is in production at Longcross studios in Surrey, 30 miles from London, Disney said it brought in white actors to help fill the many background roles, stunt positions, dancers and “camel handlers,” according to some casting calls.

“Great care was taken to put together one of the largest most diverse casts ever seen on screen,” responded a Disney spokesperson. “Diversity of our cast and background performers was a requirement and only in a handful of instances when it was a matter of specialty skills, safety and control (special effects rigs, stunt performers and handling of animals) were crew made up to blend in.”

Disney already battled the politically correct road to cast the leads: Will Smith, who plays the Genie, British-Indian actress Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Egyptian-born Canadian Mena Massoud in the title role.

The Times story quotes extra Kaushal Odedra, described as a stand in for one of the leads, as seeing as many as 20 “very fair skinned” actors in line outside make-up tents “waiting to have their skin darkened.”

“Disney are sending out a message that your skin colour, your identity, your life experiences amount to nothing that can be powered on and washed off,” Odedra told The Times.

“The talent exists and is accessible and there’s no way that Asian extras could not have been hired to meet the needs of the film,” said TV director Riaz Meer according to a report from the Independent, calling the fiasco “an insult to the entire industry” and adding, “Failing to hire on-screen talent of the right ethnic identity to meet the clear needs of this production is just plain wrong. We expect better from all filmmakers.”

The film also includes Into the Woods star Billy Magnussen, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, Navid Negahban as the Sultan and Nasim Pedrad.

Aladdin is set for theaters on May 24, 2019.

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

Displaying 1 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. ‘Aladdin’ wrapped filming, artwork teased, now how long until fans see footage, Will Smith’s Genie | The Global Dispatch says:

    […] The new project, directed by Guy Ritchie (The Man from UNCLE, Sherlock Holmes) has already battled the politically correct road to cast the leads: Will Smith, who plays the Genie, British-Indian actress Naomi Scott as Jasmine and the controversial “painting of extras” to “brown” them. […]

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Categories

Archives

At the Movies