The upcoming live action Snow White movie is ditching the seven dwarfs in favor of “magical creatures,” according to Insider. Disney had previously confirmed a “different approach” to the dwarfs, but no details were released.
Seven Dwarfs Replaced for Snow White Live Action Movie
The initial discussion began as actor Peter Dinklage criticized Disney for making a new live-action “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” because of the historical depiction of “dwarfs” in the story.
Dinklage said on the Marc Maron podcast WTF, “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*cking backwards story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together. What the f*ck are you doing, man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox?”
A Disney spokesperson told Deadline, “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. We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.”
The live-action “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” has been in development since 2016. Rachel Zegler will star as Snow White and Gal Gadot will play the Evil Queen. Andrew Burnap has been cast as the new male lead. Mark Platt will produce the film, while Marc Webb is set to direct. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul will create original songs for the film.
Disney’s Inclusivity Initiative
In the past few years, as part of their Reimagine Tomorrow initiative and Inclusion key, Disney has been making a more active effort to be inclusive of people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, people with disabilities, and other minorities often overlooked. The holiday overlay of “it’s a small world” at Disneyland debuted two dolls in wheelchairs, and similar dolls are coming soon to the attraction in Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Paris. A mannequin in a wheelchair and another with a cochlear implant were added to Creations Shop in EPCOT. The Santa Claus meet-and-greet at EPCOT this past holiday season also had a wheelchair-accessible sleigh.
Disney has committed to “cultivating an environment where all people feel welcomed and appreciated for their unique life experiences, perspectives and culture. Where we celebrate allyship and support for each other. And where diverse views and ideas are sought after as critical contributions towards our collective success,” per the Disney Parks Blog, and they say the fifth key is the center of that philosophy.
High school marching bands have been told to remove or cover offensive Native American imagery from their uniforms before performing at Disney Parks. Disney covered a Native American caricature on a logo at the Main Street Confectionery in Magic Kingdom and changed a mural at Peter Pan’s Flight to remove the word “Indian.”
Earlier this year, Cast Members were instructed to address guests as “friend” instead of “sir” or “ma’am” to be more inclusive of all genders. “Ladies and gentlemen” was removed from pre-fireworks announcements last year.
The studio has followed suit. The live action “The Little Mermaid” made history as Ariel was portrayed by Black actress Halle Bailey. Moreover, Disney has advertised an effort to accurately represent global cultures by working with indigenous advisors and crew throughout the production of movies such as “Moana,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” and “Encanto.”