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.
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.
Sydney Agudong has been cast as Nani in the Disney+ live-action ‘LILO & STITCH’ remake.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) April 14, 2023
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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