Peter Dinklage Slams Disney’s ‘Snow White’ Remake
The 'Game of Thrones' actor ripped into the film on the 'WTF with Marc Maron' podcast.
Peter Dinklage blasted Disney’s planned remake of Snow White in a new interview on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast. The Game of Thrones actor said, “There’s a lot of hypocrisy going on … Literally no offense to anyone, but I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White. But you’re still telling the story of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.’ Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me.”
Dinklage continued, “You’re progressive in one way but then you’re still making that fucking backwards story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together, what the fuck are you doing, man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I’m not loud enough. I don’t know which studio that is but they were so proud of it. All love and respect to the actress and all the people who thought they were doing the right thing. But I’m just like, what are you doing?”
Disney recently announced a live-action Snow White remake starring Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) as the titular princess. And while fans were excited to see a Latinx actress in the iconic role, Snow White is a fairy tale plagued with offensive stereotypes, specifically regarding her seven companions.
Disney has yet to release any information on whether or not those characters will appear in the film (which is titled simply Snow White). The film will be directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer, The Amazing Spider-Man) with new music from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen).
Dinklage added, “If you tell the story of Snow White with the most f—ed up, cool, or progressive spin on it? Let’s do it, All in.”
And the thing is, a spin isn’t necessarily needed. While Walt Disney’s 1937 animated film is undoubtedly the best-known version of the fairy tale, variations of ‘Snow White’ have been around for centuries. The Brothers Grimm first published the story in 1812 in the first edition of their collection Grimms’ Fairy Tales. But like so many fairy tales, various versions of the story have spread across the globe.
Several Italian variations of Snow White (La Bella Venezia) see the heroine encounter robbers. Flemish versions of the tale see Snow White taken by kabouters (a Dutch variation of a gnome or leprechaun). And a Louisiana tale, Lé Roi Pan (“The King Peacock”) sees a girl taken in by a family of ogres. Clearly there are plenty of ways to reimagine Snow White without offensive portrayals of fairy-tale dwarves.
Some have criticized Dinklage’s comments for potentially taking roles away from little people. But even those offensive roles are not a guarantee of employment. The most recent big-budget version of the story, 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman saw actors of average height who had their faces digitally placed onto small bodies. The advocacy group Little People of America protested the film, arguing that Universal should be casting actors with dwarfism as “characters that were written to be played by short people.”
Many on social media lauded Dinklage for taking a stand:
I dont know about you guys but I’m inclined to simply trust Peter Dinklage on the concept of offensive portrayals of dwarves in fiction https://t.co/ybamr9evIv
— Casey Lee Danger (@dykeules) January 25, 2022
On Marc Maron’s podcast, Peter Dinklage said Disney’s choice to cast a Latina Snow White was a “progressive” step in one sense but pointed out “you’re still…a story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together” & disabled people across Hollywood cheered inside
— David Radcliff (@DavidRadcliff) January 25, 2022
What we’re not gonna do is attack Peter Dinklage for simply stating facts just because he’s talking about Big Disney™️. We don’t know if that remake is gonna have the Dwarves in them, but even if they don’t, I’m sure we will all survive the storyline switch. Mkay? Mkay.
— Destiny Jackson ⏰💣 (@DestinyDreadful) January 25, 2022
He’s right and he should say it. To Disney, “representation” is a shield against criticism, nothing morehttps://t.co/KC84F8uVhe
— Katie Rife (@RifewithKatie) January 25, 2022
A spokesperson for Disney responded to Dinklage’s criticism on Tuesday, telling The Hollywood Reporter in a statement that Disney has been consulting with members of the dwarfism community to prepare for the movie.
“To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community,” the statement said. “We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period.”
As for the people criticizing a potential version of Snow White without the seven dwarves, they can rest easy and continue to enjoy the dozens of Snow White movies in that vein that already exist.
(via Variety, image: HBO)
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