Guy Ritchie's live-action adaptation of Aladdin has been under scrutiny from its first announcement, but a report yesterday in the Sunday Times has forced Disney to come forward to defend themselves.
It all began with a report that claimed Guy Ritchie's film was "browning up" extras for the film, despite the fact it was filming in Longcross Studios, Surrey right next to a million-strong Asian community. Disney released a statement shortly after the news broke, saying that while it admitted to adding makeup, it was done as a means of blending in large crowd scenes.
Disney's statement claims that "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," and argued that Aladdin contained "one of the largest most diverse casts ever seen on screen."
One of the extras quoted in the Sunday Times' report, Kaushal Odedra, argued however that "Disney are sending out a message that your skin colour, your identity, your life experiences amount to nothing that can be powered on and washed off."
The film is set for release on May 24th, 2019.
Via Sunday Times ($)