Remember that one-time last year when Twitter helped Disney in casting for their live-action remake? Well, we’re guessing Twitter might be regretting their decision.
Disney did manage to get just the right kind of actors to portray its characters of the Arabic fable after a long struggle. But the makers faced some irk for creating a new character just so that they could accommodate a white actor.
But the trouble did not just stop there.
According to a noted British newspaper, The Sunday Times, Disney “says it resorted to darkening white people for roles requiring skills that could not be readily found in the Asian community.”
The newspaper revealed that the extras along with the “stuntmen, dancers and camel handlers,” were applied a slightly darker shade of make so as to make them look more Middle Eastern.
Longross Film Studios, situated in the English county of Surrey is a 50-minute drive from London. The scenes are being recorded at the studio and according to Indiewire is a home to “a 1.1 million-person population of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Arab descendants.”
While speaking to The Sunday Times, Kaushal Odedra who was once upon a time stand-in for one of the film’s lead actors, said,
“On one set, two palace guards came in and I recognised one as a Caucasian actor, but he was now a darkly tanned Arab. I moved inside the marquee where there were 10 extras and two were Caucasian, but they had been heavily tanned to look Middle Eastern.”
He also revealed that around 20 “very fair-skinned” actors lined up for getting their skins browned. The actors did not have any issue that “the almost entirely white crew, [which] seemed somewhat intimidating.”
Guy Ritchie, the film’s director Guy Ritchie was unavailable for a comment when contacted by The Sunday Times.
Riaz Meer, producer and film editor, called out Disney’s action saying it nothing less than “an insult to the whole industry.”
“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. 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,” he explained.
Disney issued a statement to The Sunday Times, saying: “This is the most diverse cast ever assembled for a Disney live-action production. More than 400 of the 500 background performers were Indian, Middle Eastern, African, Mediterranean and Asian.”
‘Aladdin’ will be releasing in 2019 where the cast ensemble will be Mena Massoud as ‘Aladdin’, Naomi Scott as ‘Jasmine’, Will Smith as the ‘Genie’, and Marwan Kenzari as ‘Jafar’.
Information source: designtaxi
Title image source: dailydot