Disney has responded to criticism made by Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage about its forthcoming live-action adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Following harsh criticism, the studio issued a statement on how they will be “consulting with members of the dwarfism community” for the film. Disney said the step will be taken to “avoid reinforcing stereotypes”.
Dinklage – who stars in the forthcoming Oscar-tipped film Cyrano – has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia. The actor has previously spoken about the representation of dwarfism. He said it was “bad writing” to make it a “dominant character trait”.
Commenting on the casting of Latina actor Rachel Zegler of West Side Story fame as Snow White, Dinklage said during an appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, “Literally no offense to anyone, but I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White — but you are still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.
“Take a step back and look at what you are doing there,” he continued. “It makes no sense to me. You are progressive in one way, but then you are still making that backward story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together?”
“What are you doing, man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I am not loud enough,” the Game of Thrones actor concluded.
Disney releases a statement
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney attempted to set the record straight. “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,” read the statement.
“We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.” Oscar-nominated producer Marc Platt, who also worked on Disney’s live-action rendition of The Little Mermaid, is set to produce the film.
The original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs film, released in 1938, was the first full-length animated feature from Disney. In addition, it is considered one of the studio’s classics.
West Side Story star Rachel Zegler and Red Notice actress Gal Gadot are set to star in the adaptation, for the roles of Snow White and the Evil Queen respectively.
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