Disney recently announced that they will be remaking their 1938 animated marvel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
With Wonder Woman's Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen and West Side Story's Rachel Zegler as Snow White, the company was excited to promote a diverse retelling of the beloved classic. But according to Peter Dinklage, the remake does not go far enough.
Best known for his role on Game of Thrones, Dinklage is a renowned actor with achondroplasia, a type of dwarfism. He's been vocal throughout his career about the discrimination and stereotypes he faces, and has dedicated himself to fighting them through his performances.
While promoting his new film Cyrano on Marc Maron’s WTF Pocast, Dinklage levied his criticism against Disney's newest project. He stated,
"I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White. You're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there. It makes no sense to me. You're progressive in one way and you're still making that f---ing backwards story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together, what the f--- are you doing man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I'm not loud enough."
The dwarves in Snow White may be the mythical race of fantasy creatures instead of actual disabled people, but Dinklage raises a fair point---Disney seems willing to address some inequities of past narratives in order to save face, but unwilling to examine the content of their stories beyond the sake of public relations. Casting a Latina actress in a traditionally white role while ignoring how people with disabilities are portrayed proves that these decisions perhaps aren't made for the sake of social justice, but instead for the company's public image.
Dinklage claimed he would only feel alright about remaking the story if it was told "with the most f---ed up, progressive spin on it," but did not elaborate further. Production on the live action Snow White is set to begin this summer, but little regarding the project has been revealed, including how it will handle race (if at all), or how the seven dwarves will be portrayed.