Hollywood has always had a reputation for whitewashing, aka casting actors in roles meant for ethnicities they don’t belong to.
So when Disney put out a global casting call for its live-action remake of Aladdin back in March, things were looking up.
However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the Guy Ritchie production is struggling to find a lead for the project even four months into the process.
According to the report, “finding a male lead in his 20s who can act and sing has proven difficult — especially since the studio wants someone of Middle Eastern or Indian descent.”
Let that sink in. Disney can’t find even one man who fits that description to star in a musical.
People have been politely pointing out to them that India is a country with literally thousands of legit actors who fulfil this criteria.
And they’ve been bombarding them with suggestions on who they could potentially cast.
Priyanka Chopra as Princess Jasmine and Dev Patel as Aladdin would have the whole world shooK! pic.twitter.com/uDh03KE5QL
— Sir Carter (@WrittenByTerry) July 11, 2017
how is disney having trouble casting Alladin when Avan Jogia was literally born for the role???
the man can sing, dance, AND act! pic.twitter.com/2ilMFlq1Md
— ㅤDamian Alonso (@thedamianalonso) July 12, 2017
— BEST ZAYN PICS (@bestzaynsphotos) July 11, 2017
— Hrithiks Gladiator (@HrithiksGladia2) July 11, 2017
The bazillions of options put forth have varied from Riz Ahmed to Fawad Khan, a man who has actually played a prince in a Disney production, Khoobsurat, before.
If this man is not a prince, then no man is. And yes, I take it very personally that Fawad isn't already the Alladin. NOT COOL Disney. pic.twitter.com/XiUBWRVsJ4
— Aishwarya S (@Hyper_aice) July 12, 2017
Of course, a lot of people have pointed out that casting an Indian would also be inappropriate as Aladdin is a Middle Eastern character.
But, as many others suggested, there are much worse ways in which this whole situation could play out.