Although Disney spokespeople for the upcoming live-action Aladdin movie have said
“Great care was taken to put together one of the largest most diverse casts ever seen on screen,”
there was an uproar over the weekend when it was reported producers brought in white actors to help fill the many background roles, stunt positions, dancers and “camel handlers.”
(While) a reported 400 of 500 background performers on Disney’s currently-filming Aladdin are Indian, Middle Eastern, African, Mediterranean or Asian, it’s the other 100 that have some British media outlets in a Sunday morning stir.
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.
Egyptian-born Canadian Mena Massed plays the title role of Aladdin, with British-Indian actress Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Will Smith as the Genie. (via Deadline)