The stars of Netflix’s popular new series Fate: The Winx Saga have responded to the backlash the show has received over its casting.
The original animated series introduced us to Bloom, Stella, Flora, Musa, Tecna, and Aisha, fairies who attended a magical boarding school.
In the series, Flora is depicted as Latina, Aisha is Black, and Musa is East Asian.
When the trailer for the live-action series first came out, fans were extremely disappointed to learn that Flora had been cut from the show. She had been replaced by a character named Terra, her cousin, who was played by Eliot Salt. Elisha Applebaum was cast as Musa. Both of these actors appear to be White.
Accusations of whitewashing followed immediately.
not netflix whitewashing the asian and latina characters of their live action Winx Club ???? pic.twitter.com/UghzpbkcM7
— Paula M of THE PAPER REELS! (@thepaperreels) December 10, 2020
While Netflix has not directly addressed the whitewashing claims, the cast has.
“It’s really sad to see that fans were upset with the casting,” Applebaum told Digital Spy. “I wasn’t involved in the casting but I hope that what they’ve seen and how I’ve portrayed Musa was to their liking.”
Salt, who plays Terra, said she hopes to see Flora in season 2.
“I think it’s really important that we do see [Terra and Flora together] and if we’re lucky enough to get a season two that’s my greatest hope,” she told the publication.
“I think the conversations that have happened around that have been really important and I’m really glad that they’ve happened.”
Precious Mustapha, who stars as Aisha, praised the show for its diversity, but acknowledged that “there could be more.”
“I’ve always been someone who always looked for people who look like me on screen,” she said. “That’s few and far between.”
“The industry is getting to a point where we’re starting to see more diversity on screen, but it’s obviously not enough and there’s still more work to be done.
“It’s really nice to be on a show where there is a lot of diversity. There could be more and hopefully if we get a season two there will be a lot of that.”
Echoing Salt, Mustapha agreed that it’s important the live-action series sparked conversations about representation on screen, and hoped it would continue.
So hey, let’s hope Netflix is at least listening.
Fate: The Winx Saga is streaming now on Netflix.