Another day, another whitewashing controversy concerning the live-action remake of Aladdin. After multiple trips and falls trying to cast actors for the highly-anticipated Guy Ritchie film, it seemed like Aladdin was out of the woods with its ethnically diverse and more or less accurate list of lead stars. Or so we thought...
With Will Smith as the Genie, Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar and Navid Negahban as the Sultan already goofing on the set, Disney confirmed that American actor Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods) will be joining the film and take the role of Prince Anders, a new character created exclusively for the movie musical.
Magnussen's character – Prince Anders – is described as a suitor from Skanland and potential husband for Princess Jasmine. It's still a mystery what part will he play in the overall story, but from the description, it seems like he will be a romantic rival for Aladdin.
The news caused quite a shitstorm on Twitter. People took to social media to express their discontent with Disney's decision, calling it unnecessary to alter the original story just to include a white character.
To be fair, Magnussen's character isn't the only new addition – actress Nasim Pedrad will incarnate Mara, a handmaiden and friend of Jasmine's, which hasn't appeared in the original story.
Neither the actor nor Disney have issued a comment regarding the backlash yet.
Disney can make a frame by frame remake of Beauty and the Beast, but Aladdin needs to be altered?! The animated film was perfect wtf! pic.twitter.com/pcz2k4rXyX— ferdosa @ TIFF (@atomicwick) September 6, 2017
Can. We. Not.— Daddy Sock Monkey (@ravingsockmonky) September 6, 2017
Like, serious talk here. Fellow White people, it's okay to not be in literally everything. Seriously, it's FINE. https://t.co/H8H7ADKbJa
so they "couldn't find" a middle Eastern Jasmine but they can add a completely new made up WHITE GUY https://t.co/YqYUQ8OLBF— tori (@rotshayden) September 6, 2017
Lol that's nice how white people will make up new jobs just to hire and pay another white person. Maybe one day they do that for poc too.— Sandy SPX C7A (@skimcasual) September 6, 2017