Last week, The Hollywood Reporter shared the news that Disney and director Guy Ritchie were having trouble casting the leads for the studio's live-action Aladdin remake. Now, Disney has cast its lead roles — and a number of fans aren't happy with the choices.
The live-action Aladdin will star Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Will Smith as Genie, and Naomi Scott as Jasmine. Fans have taken issue Scott's casting in particular — the actress is British and Indian. (Massoud is "of Egyptian descent," according to Fortune.)
Fans are criticizing Disney on Twitter, reminding the studio that people of color aren't interchangeable. Plenty of people are upset that the studio didn't cast a Middle Eastern actress to play Princess Jasmine. (Yes, Agrabah isn't a real city, but fans believe the original cartoon takes place in the Middle East.)
"People have a right to be upset about Naomi Scott being cast. They're upset that their representation was taken away, and rightly so," one Twitter handle (that appears to be a Lily James fan account) posted. "Being 1/4 Indian doesn't equate to being Middle Eastern. In no way, shape, or form. PoC are not interchangeable," the Twitter user added in a second tweet.
"I love naomi scott but i don't love the "brown ppl are interchangeable" idea that hollywood believes in so it's a no from me lmao," another person tweeted.
"All these Arab actresses on the planet and they cast half-white, half-Indian Naomi Scott as Jasmine. Indian isn't middle-eastern, Hollywood," wrote another Twitter user.
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