The decision makers behind the live action recreation of Aladdin are receiving some heavy backlash after they admitted to “browning up” some white extras during filming.
The film, which features Will Smith as Genie, is currently being filmed by director Guy Ritchie in a town just 30 miles from London, which has a large and diverse population, including over one million Asian people. Disney’s claiming it was forced to bring in white actors to fill smaller roles.
The roles of stunt men, camel handlers and dancers were filled by white people after the studio claims it couldn’t fill them with brown people.
Officially, Disney has been criticized for their actions. BAFTA-nominated director Riaz Meer says casting white people for obviously POC roles is an “insult to the whole industry.”
The studio is claiming that 400 of the 500 background performers were of African or Asian descent, according to the Sunday Times. Those numbers though are at odds with a man who worked on a film. He claims there were far more white actors used than the studio would like to admit.
Kaushal Odedra, an extra on the set, says he saw 20 “very fair-skinned” actors waiting to have their skin darkened in makeup tents. He also says the same procedure was going on for crowd shots.
Regardless, Twitter was big mad and couldn’t understand how more people of color were selected for the film. See what they had to say below.
Casting Asian actors to play Asian characters is apparently a very confusing concept.— Scott Clawson (@MrKeithSmooth) January 7, 2018
How dare they fake tan. No one must ever make themselves darker than their natural skin colour. Sun bathing should be made illegal - it’s just a racist act.— Monkeymagic1971 (@monkeymagic1971) January 7, 2018
When will this end not integrating all nationalities into films? What are we teaching our children when everyone is WHITE? #deplorables— karen mcmullen (@kmcmullen0720) January 7, 2018
DESPITE the filming happening on the doorstep of Surrey's populous Asian community. Cringe— Leaf Arbuthnot (@leafarbuthnot) January 7, 2018
Is Disney still looking for actors for Aladdin? I might not be jasmine, but I’d make a good carpet considering everyone walks all over me— sarah gibson (@sarahgibson_37) January 6, 2018
(Photos from left: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images (2), George Pimentel/Getty Images for IMG)