Disney Using “Black Washing” For Film’s Hype

in Disney, Movies

Peter Pan & Wendy, Lost Boys

Credit: Disney

The trailer for Disney+’s Peter Pan and Wendy dropped just recently, and audiences are already tearing the project apart before it can be seen. While that sounds like common behavior from any overtly vocal fandom, it feels like the ire towards this film is palpably toxic, especially at its Tinkerbell.

Peter Pan & Wendy (2023), Tinkerbell closeup
Credit: Disney

Yara Shahidi is Peter Pan’s feisty fairy in the new film and, per expectations, the Disney fans were quick to pull the subject apart. Although several fans praise this new interpretation of the character, many are already calling the movie a “woke disaster.” The question is, how true are these claims?

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It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to get audiences upset these days. Those same audience members who are mad about the Lost Boys taking in female members will likely be absolutely enraged at the interracial couples in 2017’s Beauty and the Beast. However, this might be Disney’s deceptive way of generating buzz around the film.

Many fans and publications have taken to the newsfeeds and message boards about Shahidi’s Tinkerbell, many with heavily racist tones. Some have even accused Disney of “black washing” characters to appear as more diverse. While statements and perspectives like the one shared above might warrant some discussion, they are far from accurate.

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Disney fans already criticizing the movie should really ask themselves, “what color is a fairy?” The racial-based claims about Shahidi’s Tinkerbell are absolutely ludicrous at best and hateful at worst. However, what if this is all being done to simply get people talking about the film.

New and Original versions of Peter Pan
Credit: ITM/Disney

It’s arguably far more damning for a film to have no audience than it is to have a hateful one, and many outlets like TMZ and Twitter are great at generating that kind of negative response. There’s a reason many movie fans have a “so bad its good” flick. With that in mind, can we really say Disney is doing this simply out of inclusivity rather than a new direction on the classic story?

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Viewers can look at these characters and immediately identify them. Knowing little to nothing about the film in question, fans can look at Yara Shahidi and say, “Yes, that’s Tinkerbell.” The same thing can be said for the rest of the cast as well, regardless of skin color. Fans might have outrage about the casting, but a true assessment of the film’s quality can’t be gaged until it premiers.

What do you think about this new take on Peter Pan and Tinkerbell? Tell us at Inside the Magic in the comments below!



in Disney, Movies

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