Disney’s Snow White remake is ‘backwards’, says Peter Dinklage

Actor who has a form of dwarfism criticised stereotypes retained in the story

‘I was a little taken aback by [the fact] they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White, but you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’ Peter Dinklage said.  Photograph: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

‘I was a little taken aback by [the fact] they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White, but you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’ Peter Dinklage said. Photograph: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

 

Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage has taken aim at Disney for what he called its “f**king backwards” forthcoming live action adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Dinklage, who stars in Joe Wright’s new film, Cyrano, accused the studio of double standards by attending to racial diversity in its cast but falling back on other damaging stereotypes.

“I was a little taken aback by [the fact] they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White,” Dinklage told podcaster Marc Maron, “but you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.

Dinklage, who has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia, continued by saying Disney should have stepped back and reassessed the project.

“You’re progressive in one way but you’re still making that f**king backward story of seven dwarves living in the cave. What the f**k are you doing, man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I’m not loud enough.

“They were so proud of that, and all love and respect to the actress and the people who thought they were doing the right thing but I’m just like, ‘What are you doing?’”

Aside from central roles, casting on the new Disney film, including that of the dwarves, has not yet been announced

Dinklage added that had a “cool, progressive spin” been put on the fairytale, he would have been “all in”.

Disney has since responded in a statement. “To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community. We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.”

The remake stars Rachel Zegler, fresh from her acclaimed debut in West Side Story, with Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen. Directed by Marc Webb, the film is said to be an adaptation and an extension of the 1937 Disney animated classic – itself taken from a Brothers Grimm story.

An updated version, Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart, met with a backlash on release a decade ago after the dwarves were played by actors of average height – including Bob Hoskins and Ian McShane – whose faces were digitally transmuted on to small bodies.

The actor Danny Woodburn likened this technique to “blackface”, while the LA dwarf theatre group Beacher’s Madhouse threatened a “100-midget march” to the offices of distributors Universal in protest against “injustice and prejudice”.

Aside from central roles, casting on the new Disney film, including that of the dwarves, has not yet been announced. – Guardian

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