People Are Slamming Disney’s ‘Whitewashing’ Of Lilo & Stitch

The casting of Sydney Elizebeth Agudong in the live-action remake of Lilo & Stitch has sparked outrage.
Credit: @whoisjaynedoe/Instagram & Disney

People are slamming Disney’s ‘whitewashing’ of its upcoming live adaption of Lilo & Stitch

The original film, which came out over 20 years ago, follows a Hawaiian girl who adopts an extraterrestrial creature – mistaking it for a dog.

Over the years, it has become a cult classic and is adored by Disney fans.

It’s spanned two sequels and is now being adapted into a live-action movie, however, people are already unhappy with it.

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Exact details about the film have yet to be announced but The Hollywood Reporter has revealed some of its castings.

Maia Kealoha, a young actress from Hawaii, will be taking on the part of Lilo while Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) has also joined the lineup – his role hasn’t been confirmed.

The outlet also reports that Sydney Elizebeth Agudong has been cast as Lilo’s older sister and guardian Nani.

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This casting choice has been met with some backlash, as some Disney fans believe the cast is being ‘whitewashed’ – although Agudong is a native Hawaiian.

Fans have pointed out that Nani is a darker-skinned Pacific Islander in the original film and that it should be better reflected in the adaptation.

Sharing their thoughts on the casting choice, one person writes: “I know the actress is Hawaiian. But why didn’t they cast someone who’s also Hawaiian and dark-skinned like Nani?”

Another adds: “Nothing towards Sydney but I really hope Disney recasts Nani after seeing all the hate on Twitter. They probably won’t because it’s Disney.

“But I’m so tired of movies whitewashing their live-action casts especially when the characters in the animated version have strong ethnic features.”

While a third person pens: “The issue is not that they cast a native Hawaiian because props to them for doing so, the issue is that once again we are seeing colourism impact casting choices.”

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However, some people are feeling sympathetic towards the young actress, as one person says: “I feel bad for Sydney Elizabeth Agudong, a teenager who literally just showed up for work one afternoon and the entire internet was like ‘not this white girl’.”

Someone else asks: “How are people already s****ing on Sydney Agudong without seeing anything?”

Defending Agudong, another adds: “She’s British-Irish with Hawaiian and Filipino ancestry, born and raised in Kauai, Hawaii.

“The ignorance of the internet is endless.”

Lilo & Stitch is expected to be released in 2024.

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