It looks like the trouble has not ended for the makers of Aladdin just yet. Guy Ritchie’s live-action remake of the Middle-Eastern folktale is now receiving flak for casting Naomi Scott as Jasmine. Scott, who is of Indian and British heritage, has been signed to play the Arabic princess and people are not happy. Disney has, however, cast Mena Massoud to play Aladdin. Massoud is of Egyptian descent, which makes one think why they could not find an Arabic actress to play Jasmine.
Guy Ritchie was reportedly finding it difficult to cast Arabic actors for the role. The roles also required the actor to also be able to sing. Although Scott is both an actor and a singer, fact remains that the Arab is being misrepresented. Some people have also come to the actress’ rescue by pointing out that Will Smith, who has been cast as Jafar, “ain’t blue either”.
We are not quite sure where Disney would have found someone with blue skin like Jafar, because as far as we understand, such people do not exist. There are clearly a lot of (uninformed) opinion on the issue.
Twitterati was quick to express their displeasure with Disney not being able to find an actress-singer of Arabic descent for a role that is so significant to their culture. Although, Aladdin is set in the fictional town of Agrabah, it is believed that the characters are from the Middle-East.
Here are some tweets from people who complained about the issue:
naomi scott should’ve been batgirl so jasmine could be played by a middle eastern woman im so TIRED of hollywood not knowing how to cast poc pic.twitter.com/EDAfpw9Owb
— gabi 🍒 (@harleivy) July 15, 2017
All these Arab actresses on the planet and they cast half-white, half-Indian Naomi Scott as Jasmine. Indian isn’t middle-eastern, Hollywood.
— Sarah Khatami (@SarahKhatami) July 15, 2017
i love naomi scott but i don’t love the “brown ppl are interchangeable” idea that hollywood believes in so it’s a no from me lmao
— T’CHALLA 🍑🍯✨ (@dirzacksnyder) July 15, 2017
If i keep reading Naomi Scott was the perfect choice bc “no Arab women can sing/act like her” imma drop a thread on those who can do BETTER
— yasmin (@zarasglory) July 16, 2017