Disney Under Fire for Casting Non-Arab Actress as Jasmine

British-Indian Naomi Scott will play the role in the new 'Aladdin' remake.

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Disney has been criticized for choosing a non-Arab actress to be Jasmine in its remake of Aladdin. The actress, Naomi Scott—who is of British and Indian heritage—will play the princess alongside Mena Massoud, who is of Egyptian descent (opens in new tab).

Although Aladdin is located in a fictional country called Agrabah, many believe that it would be part of the Middle East—and detractors have voiced their frustration at selecting an Indian woman as one of the leads. Some on Twitter believe that it makes the suggestion that Indian and Middle Eastern women look the same.

"People have a right to be upset about Naomi Scott being cast," one Twitter user wrote. "They're upset that their representation was taken away, and rightly so."

Another wrote: "All these Arab actresses on the planet and they cast half-white, half-Indian Naomi Scott as Jasmine. Indian isn't Middle-Eastern, Hollywood."

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Other people, however, stressed that while some may have the right to feel disappointed, it is wrong to label Scott as being white, while some argued not to condemn her for landing the role and to respect her talent.

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A few months ago, director Guy Ritchie was urged against the danger of whitewashing when rumors swirled that Tom Hardy was up for a part in it. Hardy's representatives have since said that there is "no truth" in this.

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Amy de Klerk
Amy de Klerk

Amy de Klerk is Harper’s Bazaar’s digital fashion editor. She covers everything from the latest style news to trend and shopping features, red-carpet fashion and designer profiles, as well as being responsible for styling celebrity and fashion shoots for the site. Amy acquired her love of all things fashion and her knack for digital while working at publications including The TelegraphVogue.co.uk and Look magazine.