Disney Spray Tans Actors

Hector Diaz, Photographer

Disney has come under scrutiny when it was revealed last week that some white actors in the upcoming live action “Aladdin” film were being spray tanned in order to appear more Middle Eastern. The decision was criticized and viewed as an attempt by Disney to save money by altering the skin tone of some actors, rather than bringing in ethnically accurate people to play the roles needed for the film.


Disney fan Matthew Rodriguez, 12, believes that while Disney is not justified in their choice, that there is more to this decision than we know about.


“Well, I know Disney nowadays is not one to be racist so I’m sure there had to be more to this story,” Rodriguez said. “After all, this was a position for stunt doubles.”


This controversy comes after allegations that Disney was “white washing” the film after they had stated that they could not find Middle Eastern actors that could fulfill their requirements of being able to sing and dance. The announcement of a brand new and original character also did not help when it was revealed that the new character would be played by white actor Billy Magnussen.


Having more heated thoughts towards the major company, Erika Melara, 10, believes that Disney should have tried to find Middle Eastern actors in order to accurately portray the characters in the film, as well as in all other projects they work on.


“I think that Disney is not diverse enough in terms of ethnic diversity,” Melara said. “Only using white actors or actresses for films of different ethnicities is not correct.”


In response to the allegations that they are “white washing” the film, Disney has stated that about 400 of a cast of 500 people were ethnically diverse, and that they had only spray tanned their actors due to a certain skill set they possessed that was necessary for the movie.


Damaris Chacon, 11, believes that while Disney is not inherently racist, it has become a bit of problem in recent years.


“They’ve done a pretty good job in Star Wars in terms of ethnic diversity,” said Chacon. “But in the newest Beauty and the Beast, they had British actors play French characters.”


In spite of all the controversy, which included a Saudi cast member on set viewing the whole ordeal as “unfortunate”,  the film has continued its development with Guy Ritchie directing the film, and Mena Massoud playing the titular Aladdin, as well as Naomi Scott playing Princess Jasmine, and Will Smith as the Genie.