Roughly 3.45 million people of Middle Eastern or North African descent live in the United States alone. Globally, there are tens of million more.
Yet Disney says it could not find enough Middle Eastern or North African extras for crowd scenes in its upcoming live-action Aladdin movie. Instead, the media giant resorted to using offensive "brown face" makeup to darken the complexion of extras in the movie.
"Whitewashing" — casting white actors to play people of color -- has a long and offensive history in Hollywood — and it's time for it to end.
Whitewashing doesn't just deprive people of color of paid acting roles. It can also reinforce inaccurate racial stereotypes and deny people of Middle Eastern or North African descent of important representation in the stories that help shape the our world views.
Please join us in condemning Disney's decision to use white extras in brown face to represent Middle Easterners in Aladdin — and urge the media titan to publicly commit to ending its lazy and offensive use of brown face.
Disney is unlikely to reshoot the large, expensive crowd shots where they used brown face -- but securing a commitment to end the practice in Disney movies could improve fairness and representation across the enitre entertainment industry.
Speak out against Disney's use of brown face. Your signature today will show Disney that movie viewers care about representation and a fair shot for actors of color.