Disney announced its cast for the new, live-action Aladdin early Saturday at the D3 Expo, and their statement has sparked controversy throughout social media. Disney claimed the search for the headlining duo was really difficult.
Disney claimed the search for the headlining duo, Aladdin and Jasmine, was much harder than expected, but the hunt is over!
Mena Massoud, playing ‘Aladdin,’ is still relatively new to the acting game. Naomi Scott, on the other hand, known for her role as the Pink Power Ranger, has been cast as ‘Princess Jasmine.’
Here’s where the controversy comes into play: Though Massed (Aladdin) comes from Egyptian-Arabic descent, Scott (Jasmine) is half Indian. Whitewashing isn’t the problem in this case. Many worry people of color are being seen as ‘interchangeable’ (Indian as Arab, for instance).
Twitter has expressed its concern…but Twitter ALSO said they’d rather see Dev Patel (of Slumdog Millionaire) and Priyanka Chopra (Quantico, Baywatch) take on the parts…even though Priyanka is also Indian, born in Jamshedpur, India.
As expected, Will Smith is tackling the role of Genie.
Disney’s Aladdin is set to be released in 2018.