Despite having only seen her performance as Tinker Bell in the trailer that Disney released for the live-action adaptation, half the world has not stopped criticizing actress Yara Shahidi for bringing the fairy to life in the film.
And the criticism is linked to the racial change of the character, who is presented as a blonde, white-skinned fairy in the animated version of the story, while Shahidi is an Afro-descendant actress.
The same people who complain about this change in the film are the same who criticized Halle Bailey’s work in the upcoming film The Little Mermaid because of a similar situation. And Shahidi has already raised her voice to put an end to these allegations and defend both her work and that of her colleague.
Yara Shahidi Responds to Criticism About Tinker Bell
In an interview she gave to The Hollywood Reporter during the premiere of the series Extrapolations on Apple TV+, Shahidi commented that despite the criticism of her and Bailey’s participation in two Disney classic adaptations, she is excited for the audience to soon enjoy both films.
“I am very excited to see Halle on screen. If there is someone who is a princess in real life, in the world… that is Halle,” the actress commented.
And a fact that has also given her hope about her work and Bailey’s is that she has realized that there are many people who are supporting their versions of the characters, and that many Afro-descendant and even Latino children have identified with them when they see them on screen.
“What has been beautiful is to see the response of our two characters and see how many people have felt included in these fairy tales, while still maintaining the magic that we love in the first place,” she added.
And to finally put an end to the criticism against her and Bailey, the celebrity commented that she believes it is necessary for these types of changes to continue to invite more audiences to delve into these stories that the world has loved for years.
“I think people often think that diversity and inclusion threaten or endanger the quality of the story, instead of seeing how beautifully they can be intertwined to create something that impacts more people, that allows more people to participate in the stories we love.”
On April 28th, the world will finally see Peter Pan & Wendy on Disney+, with a cast including Shahidi, Jude Law, Ever Anderson, Alexander Molony, Jim Gaffigan, and Alan Tudyk.
On the other hand, the adaptation of The Little Mermaid will hit the big screen on May 26th, with artists such as Bailey, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, Jonah Hauer-King, Awkwafina, Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, among others.
Which of these adaptations are you most looking forward to? What do you think about what Shahidi said regarding inclusion and racial changes of characters in future adaptations?
Story originally written in Spanish by Alejandro Vizzuet in Cultura Colectiva.