(The sarcasm in this column shouldn't have to be pointed out but I'll make mention of it for those who don't get it)
There has been a lot of controversy swirling around Disney's remake of Aladdin. While the studio had done a decent job of casting actors of color in the lead roles, there was an apparent concern that there weren't any white people in the film, even though it's based on an animated film that had none.
Add this to the outrage that a Puerto Rican would dare appear in a Mary Poppins movie, Disney needed to do something to make sure their white audiences felt included and not white board erased (#whiteboarderased).
So today, news broke of the Aladdin casting of Billy Magnussen as a new character, Prince Anders.
While little is known about what the role will entail, it has been said that he will be a "competing suitor" for Princess Jasmine. If Disney is going for a straight up "Jungle Book-esque" remake of the animated film, is Magnussen is playing this guy?
If he is, and assuming the role is expanded due to Magnussen's moderate fame, it should be noted that this character already has a name, Prince Achmed, which would certainly not be played by a white actor. But that doesn't matter, Disney needs a white man in this movie so they will go as far to create a whole new character, or rewrite a brown one, and cast a member of the "Mia Wasikowska Whiteness All Stars" to do it.
Apparently, they loved his work as the one white guy in the Bruce Lee biopic Birth of the Dragon.
It's good to see that Disney is potentially correcting the miscasting of Prince Achmed for his appearance in Once Upon a Time.
While Taiwanese-born producer, Dan Lin, had promised to make the film culturally authentic, it's great to see that his goals were halted.
Does the presence of a white character with a Scandinavian last name in the 16th Century fictionalized Middle East make any sense? Of course not!
But this isn't about Disney trying to make sense of anything, they just want to make sure white audiences feel comfortable about seeing a movie with mostly brown faces. The national fear is over. And don't worry, there are plans to have Dove Cameron star in the remake of Moana.