(Editor’s note: Language in the fourth paragraph may offend some readers)
LONDON (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co says it is “taking a different approach” for its upcoming live-action remake of animated movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, following criticism from actor Peter Dinklage.
In an interview on comedian Marc Maron’s podcast “WTF” on Monday, Dinklage, who has a form of dwarfism known as achondroplasia, said the casting of a Latina actress in the titular role was “progressive” but called the story, based on the 19th-century fairytale, “backward”.
“Literally no offence to anything, but I was a little taken aback…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,” the “Game of Thrones” and “Cyrano” actor said.
“Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me. You’re progressive in one way…, but you’re still making that fucking backward story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together? What the fuck are you doing, man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I’m not loud enough.”
The remake of Disney’s 1937 animated film, in which seven dwarf miners take in a princess after she is exiled by her wicked stepmother, stars “West Side Story” actress Rachel Zegler as Snow White and Israeli actress Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen.
“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,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement to industry publication The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday and which was quoted widely in the media.
“We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.”
When contacted for comment, a Disney representative referred Reuters to the published statement.
The new Snow White movie is scheduled for release next year.
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Mark Heinrich)