Whitewashing is a huge topic in Hollywood at the moment, as it should be, as studios face more and more backlash each time they try to cast a white person as a character that is not meant to be white. We saw it with Scar-Jo in Ghost in the Shell, and with Emma Stone in Aloha. And last week we saw an actor make a big public statement about it, when Ed Skrein pulled out of the upcoming Hellboy film after discovering his character is meant to be a Japanese-American man.

Not enough people of colour are cast in roles as it is, but fuck, at the very least white people should not be playing non-white characters.

Now, this brings us to news about the exciting upcoming live-action version of the iconic film Aladdin. The movie-musical is going to be directed by Guy Ritchie, and is going to star Mena Massoud as AladdinPower Rangers actress Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, and Will Smith is going to be the Genie.

All great casting, and thus far there were zero issues with whitewashing.

That was until the latest casting news, when it was announced that Into the Woods actor (and very white man) Billy Magnussen has been cast as the character Prince Anders. You remember Prince Anders from the classic animated film don’t you? Aren’t you thrilled that your favourite character Prince Anders, the one that you loved as a kid, is going to star alongside Jasmine and the Genie and the rest of the gang?

If you are wondering if you have some sort of extremely specific amnesia that has cause you to forget one beloved character, don’t worry. Disney have decided to invent the character of Prince Anders, and pop him into the live action version.

Why, you wonder? Well, if you listen to a lot of people online, they see it as whitewashing-adjacent. It’s not the exact definition of whitewashing per se, but it is pretty damn close. You are making a live-action version of an incredibly successful movie, why would you add in new characters at all? And why the fuck, in a rare film that is not filled to the brim with white people, would you create a white character? Social media is asking the same question.

It will be interesting to see where the conversation about whitewashing goes from here.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Image: Getty Images / Mike Pont