The entertainment company says that in its Snow White remake it will be “taking a different approach” with the seven characters originally portrayed as dwarfs.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney said it is rethinking Snow White's seven sidekicks for its remake of the 1973 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which is due to go into production this year with West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler (20) in the lead role and Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot (36) as the Evil Queen.
“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,” a Disney spokesperson elaborated.
“We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.”
Disney’s comments come after Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage slammed the studios for reinforcing dwarfism stereotypes.
Speaking as a guest on stand-up comedian Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, Peter (52) didn’t mince his words. Although he praised the casting of Zegler as Snow White he said the premise behind the movie is fundamentally bad.
“Literally no offence to anyone, but I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White — but you’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” he said.
“Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me. You’re progressive in one way, but then you’re still making that f****g backward story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I’m not loud enough,” the actor added.
Peter, who has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia, is not the only one to criticise Disney.
British Paralympian swimmer Will Perry (21) says the film industry has a habit of treating people with dwarfism as mythical or comical characters.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Will said companies like Disney have the responsibility to influence people the right way.
“I know loads of people who love [Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs] for the right reason . . . but we are now in the 21st century. People like Disney, who have influence over young people, need to be influencing them in the right direction,” he said.
Disney insists its adaptation, which is set to be produced by Oscar-nominated Marc Platt and directed by Marc Webb, will be an updated version of the original movie.
Based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, the movie has reportedly been in development for three years.
SOURCES: BBC.COM, VARIETY.COM, HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM, DAILYMAIL.CO.UK, VULTURE.COM