Just months after Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin came under fire for inventing a new white character named Prince Anders, played by actor Billy Magnussen, the studio is feeling the fire yet again when news leaked this week that the production has been darkening the skin of some of its extras.
I love @Disney so much. But when a PR person says they decided to put 100 people in Brownface in 2018 because not enough of us are qualified, that’s bs, someone just didn’t want to spend the $ to do it right. Let’s all expect more & do better this year.https://t.co/MzZJp6jvPB
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) January 7, 2018
Kaushal Odedra, an extra in the movie, told The Times of London that he had spotted about 20 “fair-skinned” actors getting their skin darkened with makeup before shooting, instead of just casting brown actors to begin with.
He said, “On one set, two palace guards came in and I recognized one as a Caucasian actor, but he was now a darkly tanned Arab.”
Disney is defending its decision to “brown up” the production’s white actors. A spokesperson for the studio said to BBC Newsbeat actors were “made up to blend in” for “a handful of instances when it was a matter of specialty skills, safety and control,” most likely in reference to stunt work.