Disney Admits To Darkening White Actors' Skin For 'Aladdin,' Sparking Outrage

Doris Richards
January 12, 2018

Cape Town - Disney has become embroiled in another racism row over allegedly "browning up" white actors for Aladdin after it couldn't find enough darker skinned actors and extras for roles in the live-action Aladdin film remake.

Despite months of casting and despite the Office for National Statistics saying there were around four million Asian people in England, The Sunday Times reported Disney had chosen to darken the faces of white actors for roles it said Asian or Middle Eastern actors couldn't be found for.

These reportedly include stuntmen, dancers and camel handlers.

Among a reported cast of extras that number around 500, media in the United Kingdom locked its attention on Disney's alleged handling of the 100 or so who are white, citing one of the film's principal stand-ins who claimed to see fair-skinned extras purportedly waiting in line outside a makeup tent to have their skin tone darkened.

Responding to the claims on Twitter, actor Kal Penn accused Disney of using "Brownface" - the term used to refer to a white actor whose skin has been darkened in order to play an ethnic minority role. "Also, if I'd wanted to discuss it, speaking to the nearly entirely white crew seemed somewhat intimidating".

"This is the most diverse cast ever assembled for a Disney live-action production".

The highly-anticipated film, which stars Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud as the titular hero Aladdin and British-Indian actress Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, is now being filmed in Surrey, in southeast England. Many are asking how they could not meet the needs as the movie is filming just outside of diverse London. "We expect better from all filmmakers", Meer said.

Naomi Scott will play Jasmine in the live-action adaptation.

The 32-year-old added to the publication: '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'.

Disney is wading through another controversy, this time courtesy of Aladdin. The sole person of color on the team is Taiwanese-American producer Dan Lin, whose company Lin Productions is co-producing the film with Disney and Mark Platt Productions.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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