Disney has finally found their “Jasmine”, “Aladdin” and “Genie” in their live-action remake of 1992 animated classic and like you’ve guessed it, only one-third of the iconic trio is actually an Arab. While the actress playing Jasmine is Indian and British. But hey, we’ve should’ve seen it coming.
Shortly before Disney’s announcement that Naomi Scott (Jasmine), Mena Massoud (Aladdin) and Will Smith (Genie) will star in ‘Aladdin’, Disney ‘can’t find‘ its lead for the film. This, in turn, caused Aladdin fans to turn to social media platforms such as Twitter to help Disney find its lead with hopes that they don’t pull another Ghost in the Shell stunt on its fans.
And though Disney did manage to cast People Of Colour, they are unfortunately not Arabs.
Instead of listening to the thousands of tweets and suggestions from social media to cast Arab actors and actresses, Disney instead cast a half white, half Indian actress to play a Middle Eastern, non white Jasmine and an African American to play an Arab Genie.
Though Disney is still navigating through its area of representation and recovering from the haunting controversies the animated film had made in the past, much is to be said about how difficult it must have been for them to find an Arab cast.
The only thing we can now pray for is for Disney to not ruin Mulan as well in the near future.