Disney faces backlash over casting British-Indian Naomi Scott as Jasmine in Aladdin
Disney’s upcoming live-action reboot of the 1992 animated classic Aladdin is facing blowback for casting a non-Arab actor to play Jasmine.
After a months-long worldwide search Disney roped in Naomi Scott to play Jasmine in the film.
Scott is of British and Indian heritage and some critics of the decision see it as a suggestion by Disney that women of Indian and Middle Eastern heritage look the same, reported Fortune.
Mena Massoud, who will play the role of Aladdin in the film, is of Egyptian descent.
Aladdin, the story of a rough-and-tumble kid from the streets who enlists a genie to win the love of Princess Jasmine, is set in fictional Agrabah, which is largely seen as representing a Middle Eastern city.
A critic of the decision said it was one more instance of Hollywood believing that “brown (people) are interchangeable,” while another said fans are “upset that their representation was taken away, and rightly so.”
Disney did not return Fortune’s request for comment on the story.
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