Disney Responds to Peter Dinklage's Snow White Slam

Company says it's taking a 'different approach' on the 7 dwarfs in its live-action remake
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2022 3:06 PM CST
Updated Jan 26, 2022 8:52 AM CST
Peter Dinklage Slams 'Backwards' Snow White Remake
This image released by MGM shows Peter Dinklage as Cyrano in Joe Wright's "Cyrano."   (Peter Mountain/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures via AP)

(Newser) Update: Peter Dinklage spoke up this week about Disney's upcoming live-action remake of Snow White, and Disney was listening. Hours after criticism about the film from the 52-year-old Game of Thrones and Cyrano star—who has a form of dwarfism and wasn't happy to imagine a reboot that might make fun of the seven dwarfs of the movie or otherwise put them in a bad light— Disney issued a statement on its plans. "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," a Disney rep said, per the Hollywood Reporter. The rep wouldn't elaborate, simply noting: "We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period." Rachel Zegler of West Side Story will play Snow White in the movie, which is still years away from theaters. Our original story from Tuesday follows:

Filming of Disney's live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs begins soon—and Peter Dinklage has a lot to say about the project. The Game of Thrones star, who has a form of dwarfism, slammed the remake in an interview with Marc Maron's WTF podcast Monday, Variety reports. He said there was a "lot of hypocrisy" going on, with a Latina actress cast as Snow White but other elements of the fairy tale apparently remaining the same. "I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White," he says. "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."

"All love and respect to the actress and all the people who thought they were doing the right thing," Dinklage said. "But I'm just like, what are you doing? ... You're progressive in one way but you're still making that f---ing backwards story of seven dwarfs living in the cave. What the f--- are you doing, man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I'm not loud enough." Early in his career, Dinklage struggled to find work because he refused to play stereotypical roles like leprechauns, the New York Times noted in a 2012 interview. Dwarfs, Dinklage told the Times, "are still the butt of jokes. It's one of the last bastions of acceptable prejudice."

In the remake, Rachel Zegler stars as Snow White, with Gal Gadot playing the Evil Queen. Disney hasn't confirmed how the dwarfs will be portrayed. In 2012, there was a backlash against Snow White and the Huntsman when the studio digitally transmuted the faces of actors of normal height, including Bob Hoskins, onto small bodies, the Guardian notes. Dinklage told Maron that he'd like to see the tale retold with some major changes. "If you tell the story of Snow White with the most f---ed up, progressive spin on it? Let's do it," he said. "All in." (Read more Disney stories.)

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