Over the weekend, several news outlets in the UK reported on the casting for Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Aladdin.
“Fury as Disney ‘browns up’ white actors to star in Aladdin despite filming next to one million-strong Asian community,” read a Daily Mail headline. The headline in an article in the Sunday Times that originally broke the story read, “Genie, brown up some extras for Aladdin.”
The Times story reported that Disney “brought in white actors to help fill the many background roles, stunt positions, dancers, and camel handlers needed.”
A Disney spokesperson stated, “Great care was taken to put together one of the largest most diverse casts ever seen on screen. [The] 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.”
Deadline has added an update to their original story stating, “Although 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 quoted one of the stand-ins, Kaushal Odedra, who saw “as many as 20 very fair skinned actors in line outside make-up tents waiting to have their skin darkened.”
News Source: Deadline
Image Source: Disney