Fans hit back at criticism for Tinker Bell 'race swap' in new Peter Pan remake
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Film fans have been hitting back at criticism over the upcoming Peter Pan live-action remake from Disney as actor Yara Shahidi is cast as Tinker Bell.
Yara, who has starred in ABC TV show Black-ish and in films including Salt with Angelina Jolie, has been cast as the fairy sidekick to Peter Pan with the trailer for the 2023 film airing last month.
Watch the trailer here:
In the trailer, we see the classic story from the book by JM Barrie with the usual suspects of Peter Pan, Hook and dressed in her green costume, Tinker Bell.
However some fans of the book and previous film have hit out at the decision by Disney to cast Yara, who identifies as mixed race, citing that the company should have created an original Black character instead of changing the race of an existing one.
In previous Peter Pan adaptations, Tinker Bell has typically been played by a white actor instead.
Reacting to the trailer, one critic wrote on social media: "I'm black and I’m all about inclusion but making a character black for the sake of it isn’t it but props to her hope she kills it."
Another agreed, as they took to social media to tweet: "Please for the love of God stop with the race switching it’s cheap. Just make new characters or use existing ones to represent us instead of using cheap pop outs and replacing people’s races."
Another criticised: "Iger’s Disney be like: 'How about we take a beloved classic, race swap all the characters (except the villans) and make it look as bland, cheap and soulless as possible?'"
However some pointed out that the character being debated is a fairy, and for some they didn't feel it mattered about Yara's race.
"All I am going to say is Tinkerbell is a fairy…. Changing her race when she is a fairy has absolutely no affect on me! Hope Yara kills it," said one comment.
Another agreed: "It’s an imaginary fairy creature."
The 2023 adaptation of Peter Pan, titled Peter Pan and Wendy, is set for release later this year and also stars Jude Law as Captain Hook, Ever Gabo Anderson as Wendy, Alexander Molony as Peter Pan and Jim Gaffigan as Mr. Smee.
Director David Lowery spoke out about the new adaptation, saying: "In making Peter Pan & Wendy, we set out to craft a film that honors both the original J.M. Barrie text and Walt Disney’s animated adaptation; we wanted to invigorate our retelling with emotional sincerity, an open heart, and a grand yearning for adventure.
"Hundreds of incredible artists spent many years bringing this film to the screen; I’m excited for audiences to see their work, to go on this ride, and to rediscover an evergreen tale from a new perspective."
Last year, Disney saw a similar race row after it cast Black actor Halle Bailey in the title role as Ariel, swapping out the previous red hair and white skin animation.
Peter Pan & Wendy will be released on Disney Plus on Friday, April 28.
Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV, Disney, Disney Plus