Disney defends ‘browning up’ white actors to ‘blend in’ in live-action Aladdin

'Disney are sending out a message that your skin colour, your identity, your life experiences amount to nothing that can’t be powdered on and washed off'

Just leave the original be.Disney

Just months after Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin came under fire for inventing a new white character named Prince Anders, played by actor Billy Magnussen, the studio is feeling the fire yet again when news leaked this week that the production has been darkening the skin of some of its extras.

Kaushal Odedra, an extra in the movie, told The Times of London that he had spotted about 20 “fair-skinned” actors getting their skin darkened with makeup before shooting, instead of just casting brown actors to begin with.

He said, “On one set, two palace guards came in and I recognized one as a Caucasian actor, but he was now a darkly tanned Arab.”

Disney is defending its decision to “brown up” the production’s white actors. A spokesperson for the studio said to BBC Newsbeat actors were “made up to blend in” for “a handful of instances when it was a matter of specialty skills, safety and control,” most likely in reference to stunt work.