Disney has come under fire for its decision to cast white actors in parts of the movie industry that are heavily Asian, in an attempt to portray the film as a celebration of diversity.
The Oscar-winning writer of “Frozen” was speaking at an event in Los Angeles when she said she is “disappointed” that the film was cast in roles that are largely inauthentic.
“I think the fact that it’s white people in these parts of Hollywood and Asian people in this part of Hollywood that have been so successful, that I think that’s a shame,” she said.
“The truth is that the Asian community has been in the movies longer than any other community.
I mean, there’s a lot of Asian people and they have been doing it for decades and it’s not that we haven’t seen this movie before, but the fact of the matter is it’s a very diverse cast.
And I think there’s just a lot more of the same people in the film world than there are in the movie world.”
Disney has made the decision to not cast Asian actors in the parts of its movie industry where they are not inauthentically represented.
The studio has said that it has not cast white people to play roles that aren’t “authentic” in Asian communities, in part because of the concerns about racism.
“We’re not casting the characters that we know are going to be the same and not the ones that are going through the same challenges and hardships as the rest of us,” Disney chief creative officer Bob Chapek said in a 2015 interview with BuzzFeed News.
“And I think part of it is, in some ways, it’s very difficult to cast actors in those roles.”
He added that he was “not a fan of the fact” that Disney had chosen not to cast a white actor in “Frodo’s” part because it could have “distracted the audience”.
“If we were really trying to do something that was going to make an impact, and if we were looking to do that to get people engaged, then we would cast a different actor,” Chapell said.
The Disney casting decision comes amid a growing backlash against Disney and its chairman, Bob Iger, over the casting of a white man as the lead of the popular animated film Frozen.
Iger and Disney have been embroiled in a fierce public spat over the film’s casting, with critics accusing Iger of failing to properly vet actors in favour of white actors.
Iger has repeatedly insisted that the decision was solely for aesthetic reasons, with no racial agenda.
Disney, which has yet to comment, has faced criticism that the casting decisions were part of a deliberate attempt to create a racially homogenous cast.
The company’s CEO, Bob Chaperone, has said he is “committed to diversity” and has defended the decision not to bring in a white male lead.
“That is our decision to make.
And it’s something we’ve made every year,” he told The Associated Press in December.”
If there’s anything we learned over the years from doing it, it is that people, even when they’re the same ethnicity as us, are going on the other side of the spectrum, and that’s fine.”
Disney’s decision not cast a single white person in “The Little Mermaid” is a sign of the growing diversity of the animated film industry, with Disney, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co, making more than $1.3 billion in revenue from the film.