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After all that speculation, Disney announced the casting for its upcoming live-action remake of Aladdin at the weekend.
Mena Massoud will take on the lead of Aladdin alongside Will Smith as the iconic Genie and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine in Guy Ritchie’s new adaptation.
But fans have criticised Disney for casting Scott (a non-Arab actress) in the new film, saying the part should have gone to an actor of Arab heritage instead.
Scott – who rose to fame in the role of the Pink Ranger in this year’s Power Rangers reboot – is of British, Ugandan and Gujarati Indian heritage.
Taking to Twitter, one person wrote: “I love Naomi Scott but I don’t love the ‘brown people are interchangeable’ idea that hollywood believes in so it’s a no from me.”
And someone else said: “All these Arab actresses on the planet and they cast half-white, half-Indian Naomi Scott as Jasmine. Indian isn’t middle-eastern, Hollywood.”
i love naomi scott but i don't love the "brown ppl are interchangeable" idea that hollywood believes in so it's a no from me lmao
— T'CHALLA 🍑🍯✨ (@dirzacksnyder) July 15, 2017
All these Arab actresses on the planet and they cast half-white, half-Indian Naomi Scott as Jasmine. Indian isn't middle-eastern, Hollywood.
— Sarah Khatami (@SarahKhatami) July 15, 2017
People have a right to be upset about Naomi Scott being cast. They're upset that their representation was taken away, and rightly so.
— Lils. (@LiIyJames) July 16, 2017
Another added: “People have a right to be upset about Naomi Scott being cast. They’re upset that their representation was taken away, and rightly so.”
However, other social media users defended the casting, with one person replying: “You are complaining that Naomi Scott doesn’t have a brown-coloured skin to play as Princess Jasmine in. Will Smith ain’t Blue.”
Y'all are complaining that Naomi Scott doesn't have a brown-colored skin to play as Princess Jasmine in #Aladdin
Will Smith ain't Blue 😕
— Delia 🌸 (@jyannaponce) July 16, 2017
Despite Aladdin being located in the fictional make-believe country of Agrabah, it’s assumed that the country would be in the Middle East.